Minecraft – Pocket Edition

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Gameplay

A screenshot of a procedurally generated terrain in survival mode

Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish,[8] allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game.[9] However, there is an optional achievement system.[10] The gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks. The game world is essentially composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern and represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions. The game primarily consists of two game modes: survival and creative. Unlike in survival mode, in creative mode, players have access to unlimited blocks, regenerate health when damaged, and can fly freely around the world. The game also has a changeable difficulty system of four levels; the easiest difficulty (peaceful) removes any hostile creatures that spawn.[11]

A few of the hostile mobs in Minecraft creative mode from left to right: zombie, spider, Enderman, Creeper, skeleton

At the start of the game, the player is placed on the surface of a procedurally generated and virtually infinite game world.[12] Players can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies.[12] The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles to snowfields. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, with one full cycle lasting 20 real time minutes. Throughout the course of the game, players encounter various non-player characters known as mobs, including animals, villagers and hostile creatures. During the daytime, non-hostile animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, spawn. They may be hunted for food and crafting materials. During nighttime and in dark areas, hostile mobs, such as large spiders, skeletons, and zombies spawn.[12] Some Minecraft-unique creatures have been noted by reviewers, such as the Creeper, a exploding creature that sneaks up on the player, and the Enderman, a creature with the ability to teleport and pick up blocks.[13]

The game world is procedurally generated as players explore it, using a seed which is obtained from the system clock at the time of world creation unless manually specified by the player.[14][15] Although limits exist on vertical movement both up and down, Minecraft allows for an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane, only running into technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached. The game achieves this by splitting the game world data into smaller sections called “chunks”, which are only created or loaded into memory when players are nearby.

Complex systems can be built using the in-game physics engine with the use of primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone. For example, a door can be opened or closed by pressing a connected button or stepping on a pressure plate. Similarly, larger and more complex systems can be produced, such as a working arithmetic logic unit–as used in CPUs.[16]

Minecraft features two alternate dimensions – the Nether and The End.[13] The Nether is a hell-like dimension accessed via player-built portals that contain many unique resources and can be used to travel great distances in the overworld.[17] The End is a barren land in which a boss dragon called Enderdragon dwells.[18] Killing the dragon cues the game’s ending credits, written by Irish author Julian Gough.[19] Players are then allowed to teleport back to their original spawn point in the overworld, and will receive “The End” achievement.

Multiplayer gaming in Minecraft is available in player-hosted servers. This allows for players to play in a common world, and achieve goals together.[8] Single player worlds allow LAN connection, so players on the same network can join locally without a server setup.[20] On multiplayer servers, PvP (player vs. player) may be enabled to allow fighting between players.

Survival mode

A screenshot of the Minecraft crafting screen, showing a stone axe being crafted

In this mode, players have to gather natural resources found in the environment in order to craft certain blocks and items.[12] Depending on the difficulty, monsters spawn at night and other dark places, necessitating that the player builds a shelter.[12] The mode also features a health bar which is depleted by attacks from monsters, falls, drowning, falling into lava, suffocation, starvation, and other events. Players also have a hunger bar, which must be periodically refilled by eating various food (pork chops, bread, etc.) in-game. Health replenishes when players have a full hunger bar, and also regenerates regardless of fullness if players play on the easiest difficulty.

There are a wide variety of items that players can craft in Minecraft.[21] Players can craft armor, which can help mitigate damage from attacks, while weapons such as swords can be crafted to kill enemies and other animals. Players may acquire different resources to craft tools, such as weapons, armor, food, and various other items. By acquiring better resources, players can craft more effective items. For example, tools such as axes, shovels, or pickaxes, can be used to chop down trees, dig soil, and mine ores, respectively; and tools made out of better resources (such as iron in place of stone) perform their tasks more quickly and can be used more heavily before breaking. Players may also trade goods with villager mobs through a bartering system. Emerald ores are often the currency of the villagers, although some trade with wheat or other materials.

The game has an inventory system and players are limited to the number of items they can carry, specifically, 36 spaces. Upon dying, items in the players’ inventories are dropped, and players respawn at the current spawn point, which is set by default where players begin the game, but can be reset if players sleep in beds in-game. Dropped items can be recovered if players can reach them before they despawn. Players may acquire experience points by killing mobs and other players, mining, smelting ores, and cooking food. Experience can then be spent on enchanting tools, armor and weapons. Enchanted items are generally more powerful, last longer, or have other special effects.

Players may also play in hardcore mode, a variant of survival mode that differs primarily in the game being locked to the hardest gameplay setting as well as featuring permadeath; upon players’ death, their world is deleted.[22]

Creative mode

In creative mode, players have access to unlimited resources or items through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly. Players do not take environmental or mob damage, and are not affected by hunger. They can fly freely around the game world and only die by breaking through bedrock and falling into the void.

Adventure mode

In adventure mode, the gameplay is similar to survival mode except players are unable to break blocks without appropriate tools. The players may still interact with items (such as chests) and mechanics (such as buttons, levers, and repeaters). This mode was developed for playing player-made custom maps,[23] which often involve rules that prohibit breaking blocks. Another addition designed for custom maps is the command block, a block that allows mapmakers to expand interactions with players through server commands

 

How to Golf

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How to Golf you ask well the Famous author Mark Twain once wrote, “Golf is a good walk wasted.”  Many people feel this way.  After all, what’s so fun and interesting about hitting a little white ball with a metal stick trying to get it in a little hole?  However, the truth is there is fun to be had on the golf course as is evidenced by the millions of golf enthusiasts all over the world.

 

Ever since the game of golf was invented back in the 15th century, people have been fascinated with mastering this often frustrating game.  In 1750, the game of golf evolved into what we know it as today, and since that time, technology and technique has improved on the game, but mastering the game of golf still lies in the individual playing the game.

 

One of the great things about golf is that it is more than a physical sport.  Your mental state can play a huge part in your golf game.  If you hit a bad shot, it can really affect your next stroke and so on and so forth.  It’s important to realize that if golf were less challenging, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

 

People can spend thousands of dollars in efforts to improve their golf game.  They buy videos, books, new equipment, and lessons from a professional.  Improving the golf game is a multi-million dollar industry as it seems like there are all sorts of people offering advice on things you can change to improve your score.

 

Just as the golf swing has been improved upon over time, so has the equipment used to play golf.  In the 1800’s, golf bags came into use as an easier way to carry around clubs and balls.  Golf balls were made lighter and able to travel further and tees were used to help make the ball easier to hit off the tee box.

 

But even with all this new technology, no one has really perfected the game of golf.  If that were the case, there would be scores of 18 with a hole in one on every hole.  The truth is that even the professionals can’t perfect their golf game.  Man is fallible and he makes mistakes.  But when it comes to the game of golf, mistakes are inevitable.

 

I’ve heard many golfers tell me that they played great but scored horribly.  That statement made me really think about my own golf game.  I, too, have had rounds where I’ve hit the ball well but it wasn’t reflected in my score.  How is it possible that we can hit the ball so well yet still take a 6 on a par 4 hole?  The answer isn’t easy, but it can be addressed.

 

I’m not a golf pro, but I do love the game of golf.  I’ve always wanted to improve my golf game, so this book will help both you and me.  I decided that researching what the pros have to say would be a great way to put their advice to good use.  Compiling all of that information into this book would also be a great way to share that advice.

 

Let’s look at different aspects of the game of golf and find some easy ways to improve our scores!

 

EQUIPMENT

 

Believe it or not, the equipment you use in your golf game can truly make a difference in how well you strike the ball.  With new technologies in club designs and materials used to make the clubs, you can get overwhelmed at the various choices you will have when buying golf equipment.  We’ll look at this section from the perspective of your skill level.

 

 

Beginner – Average scores over 100

 

Because you are just learning the game, you will want to have clubs that are more forgiving when you make bad shots – and those bad shots will come. The beginning golfer should be looking for clubs that are the most forgiving when the ball is struck off-center. Perimeter-weighted clubs place the most weight of the club around the edges, which prevents the club head from turning with a poorly hit shot.

If you would like something that makes it very easy to get the ball in the air, you should look for irons that have more sole weighting.  Sole weighting lowers the center of gravity by putting the weight under the ball, helping to get it in the air quicker.

Titanium is stronger, denser and lighter than steel, thus the club head can be made larger with the same amount of material. A larger head also means the size of the sweet spot will be larger. Since off-center shots will make you lose distance, a larger sweet spot will be the most forgiving.

 

Some heads feature an “offset” design to prevent your shots spinning left-to-right and giving a straighter ball flight. The offset means the face is slightly behind the hostel of the club head. This gives you an extra split second in the swing to get the face back to the square position.

For your driver, the larger the head the more forgiving it will be. These are all going to have the largest face, producing the largest sweet spot. This is very important, since a beginner doesn’t always hit the ball right in the middle of the clubface. (Studies have shown you lose 10 yards for every 1/8″ of an inch you miss the sweet spot!!!)

For fairway woods, the lower profile woods make it easier to get the ball airborne, as the weight is mostly below the center of the ball.

Graphite shafts are the most forgiving shafts for poorly hit shots. They absorb the vibration like a shock absorber, allowing for a much better feeling shot. Graphite shafts are lighter weight, so you will pick up some swing speed which will give you more distance. For this reason graphite shafts are more popular than steel shafts in the metal woods when distance is your primary goal.

Steel shafts don’t feel as soft, and they are heavier, but they are more accurate than graphite. For this reason, they are usually better for the irons, since you are less concerned with distance and more concerned with accuracy since you are hitting into greens and at the pin.

Intermediate – Average scores between 80 and 100

The intermediate golfer should be looking for a club that maximizes both distance and control. The more perimeter-weighting you have, the more forgiving the club, but the more weight directly behind the ball gives you more distance. These club heads all seek to optimize the balance between distance and control.

You should look for distance clubs with titanium heads.  They are very light, allowing you to generate more club head speed to get more distance, yet still more controllable than the largest of the oversize titanium heads.

For intermediate golfers, any shaft would work well. It’s important that you pick out the properties of a shaft that will help your game the most. The lightweight shafts have a lower flex point, which help you get the ball in the air quicker. The standard weight shafts have a higher flex point, which allows for better control. Graphite shafts and the True Temper Sensicore shafts have a bit softer feel.

Advanced – Average score less than 80

Advanced golfers need the weight of the club head where it is needed most… right behind the ball. The weight is more directly behind the ball, meaning a shot struck in the center of the club will explode off the club face.

The advanced golfer will want a driver with a large head so the sweet spot is larger and you have a better possibility of longer drives.  Irons should be lightweight with the proper degree of loft for all situations.

If you are an advanced golfer, you probably already know what clubs work best for you and where you need to upgrade.

Test out various clubs and find which ones are good fits for you.  Practice, if possible, with different styles and take note of those that give you the best results.

When it comes to golf balls, you will want those that can give you the most distance and that aren’t too “hard”.  There are many brands on the market that can fit into this mold, so test out a few and see which one you like the best.

So you’ve got your equipment, now let’s take a look at some of the basics of golf and a good, effective golf swing.

 

THE BASICS

 

The purpose of this book isn’t to teach you how to swing a golf club.  However, it can never hurt to go over the basics of the golf swing and the golf stance.  So often, we get into bad habits on the golf course when it comes to our swings.  We forget the things we initially learned about and start swinging the club in really the wrong way.

 

Everyone has their own golf swing style.  Very few people stand the same way, have the same backswing, and hit the ball the same way.  For that matter, very few people are able to duplicate a swing exactly the same every single time.  But there are some basics to a good golf swing that everyone should keep in mind.

 

The full golf swing is an unnatural, highly complex motion and notoriously difficult to learn. It is not uncommon for beginners to spend several months practicing the very basics before playing their first ball on a course. It is usually very difficult to acquire a stable and successful swing without professional instruction and even highly skilled golfers may continue to take golf lessons for many years.

 

So let’s just go over the basics of the golf swing first – just as a review.

 

 

The Grip

 

There are three basic golf grips that you can use:  the overlapping grip, the baseball grip, and the interlocking grip.  We’ll cover each of those in a minute.  Here’s the basic rule for gripping a golf club.

Start by holding the club directly in front of you with your right hand with the club head pointing away from you at about a 45 degree angle.

Next grip the club with your left hand. The club will be mainly in the palm across the pads at the base of the fingers. However, the club will lie across the first section of the index finger. The thumb will be positioned straight on top of the golf club shaft. Relative to the golf club, the thumb will be in the twelve o’clock position.

Now, with your right hand, grip the golf club just above your left hand with the fingers, not the palm, of your right hand. The thumb will be positioned slightly off to the left. Relative to the golf club, the thumb will be in an eleven o’clock position.

If you have gripped the golf club correctly, only the first two knuckles of your left hand will be visible. Also, your left thumb should be completely hidden under your right hand.  The index finger position of your right hand will look and feel like a gun trigger finger.

Here are three of the most common golf grips and how to use them:

  • The overlapping grip is the most common golf grip used.  It is used mostly by male golfers and those with strong wrists and forearms.  The little finger of the right hand lies on top of or overlaps the index finger on the left hand.
  • The baseball grip is most commonly used by younger golfers, females, seniors, and those with weaker wrists and arms.  The index finger of the left hand and the little finger of the right hand meet but do not overlap or interlock.
  • An interlocking grip will be used by golfers with shorter hands and fingers, those with thicker or chunkier palms, and golfers who have difficulty with the overlapping grip.  The index finger of the left hand and the little finger of the right hand overlap each other and interlock.

 

If your golf grip pressure is right, the club could almost be pulled out of your hands, but not quite.  A correct golf grip will make you feel as if you are holding the club mostly in the palm and last three fingers of your left hand. Regardless, both hands should hold the club with equal pressure.  A correct golf grip doesn’t guarantee a successful golf swing; however, a defective golf grip will almost always result in a failed golf swing.

 

Your Stance

If you start with a bad golf stance, you’ll probably follow with a bad golf back swing, a bad downswing, and a bad follow through. Not to worry though. It’s just not that difficult!  Your golf stance may not be perfect, but you can compensate by staying balanced and relaxed. Your weight should be equally distributed over your left and right leg. If you can pick either of your feet off the ground, you’re not balanced.

Start by placing the inside of your front foot just ahead of the ball. Since you’re going to be using a driver or 3 wood, the front and back feet should be shoulder width or slightly more than shoulder width apart.

Next, bend at the top of the legs (keep your back straight) and then bend slightly at the knees. The kneecaps will be directly above the balls of your feet.  The angle of your back to the ground will be approximately 45 degrees. Your arms should be hanging straight down from your shoulders.

Good posture counts. Keep your back straight but don’t tense up. You might think of it as pushing your back pockets higher.

Your weight should be on the balls of your feet, not on the toes or heels. Likewise, your weight should be equally distributed between your front and back foot. Now you should be more comfortable and less tense. If you’re out of balance, you’re falling down. That’s no way to start a good golf swing.

        A line drawn across the front of your feet should point to your target. You may want to check this by first placing your club up against the toes of your feet and then step back and see if the club is really pointing to your target. This is your target line and your knees, hips, and shoulders should also be parallel to this line.

One slight adjustment will be the position of your shoulders. When you assume the proper golf stance and grip, your club and left arm will form a straight line between your shoulder and the ball. For this to happen, your right shoulder will be slightly lower to the ground than the left, but a line through your shoulders should still be parallel to the target line.

Once you grip the club and take your stance at the ball, find a way to relax and loosen up before you start your swing. You may want to waggle – or shake your tush – just a little bit and to heck with those who might laugh at you.  Once you hit that monster shot, they’ll stop.  Now you’re ready to swing.

The Backswing

Essentially, the backswing is a rotation to the right, consisting of a shifting of the player’s body weight to the right side, a turning of the pelvis and shoulders, lifting of the arms and flexing of the elbows and wrists. At the end of the backswing the hands are above the right shoulder, with the club pointing more or less in the intended direction of ball flight.

The downswing is roughly a backswing reversed. After the ball is hit, the follow-through stage consists of a continued rotation to the left. At the end of the swing, the weight has shifted almost entirely to the left foot, the body is fully turned to the left and the hands are above the left shoulder with the club hanging down over the players’ back.

Instead of thinking about your arms and swinging your club backwards, try to think of your back swing as turning your back to the target. You’re not swinging the club up in the air; instead you’re just putting the club behind your back. It’s like winding a spring!

The back swing works from the top down. The back swing takeaway starts at the top with your arms and shoulder turning, and it works its way down to your hips and legs.

The back swing is all about coiling up your body and creating the muscle tension or torque needed to release a powerful downswing. More specifically, resistance is created between the greater turning of the upper body and shoulders and the lesser turning of the hips and lower body.

Don’t get in a hurry! A hurried back swing doesn’t make the downswing any faster. In fact, it may be just the opposite. You’ve got to remember that somewhere at the top of that back swing, you’ve got to change and go the exact opposite direction.

The speed of your back swing should be at a steady tempo, not real fast or real slow. The tendency is to go too fast. Any time your golf swing begins to break down; your first correction should usually be to slow down my back swing.

Turn your back toward the target or, maybe better, think of turning your chest away from the target. Pick the thought that produces the greater feeling of coiling or resistance.  Don’t allow the back knee to fly outwards. Keep your weight towards the inside of that foot.

Your wrists should be completely cocked by the time your left arm is parallel to the ground. The golf club shaft should be at a 90 degree angle to your left arm.

Don’t focus on the club head during the backswing.  Instead think of the arm as being hinged at the left shoulder. Then, like a gate that swings open from its hinges, the left arm hinges at the left shoulder and swings across the body until it approaches the right side at my right armpit. The left arm remains relatively straight, but could bend slightly.

Your shoulder and upper body turn begin as the left arm reaches this position.  As the arms go back, two things should happen:

  1. The forearms will naturally rotate clockwise slightly until the golf club head points to the sky.   Opening the club face more won’t seem right to you if you tend to slice, but don’t resist this very natural movement.
  2. As your arms travel up and back and the golf club shaft approaches parallel to the ground, you will gradually begin cocking your wrists. Then by the time that your left arm is parallel to the ground, your wrists should be completely cocked at a 90 degree angle.

Cocking your wrists is a very important part of creating club head speed. This is often a big swing problem. You can get so concerned about “taking the club straight back” at the beginning of your back swing that you don’t completely cock your wrists. Fixing this problem can straighten out several golf swing problems.

The next part of the golf swing is the shoulder and upper body turn.  The left arm has swung across the body near the right armpit. The natural continuation of this motion is to begin the turning of the shoulders. The shoulders will turn from parallel to the target line to approximately perpendicular to the target line depending on your own flexibility. As this happens, the hips and then legs will also become involved in the turn.

Wouldn’t you like to feel more body torque build up in your golf back swing? Of course! A friend gave me this golf swing tip just the other day. Maybe you’ll find it to be as helpful as I did.

Instead of trying to create body torque by turning your shoulders, think of turning your lower chest (Let’s say about six inches above your bellybutton) away from the target. Of course when you do it this way your shoulders will still turn but you should feel much more torque building through your body.

Don’t let the knee of your back leg turn or fly out or to the back as the back swing progresses. You’ll lose part of your body torque.
At the height of the back swing, you’ll feel like your back is over top of your back leg. At this point your weight has shifted back over your back leg.

It is truly a myth that the head stays over the ball as at address and the body turns on an axis formed by a line traveling through the head and the backbone.  In reality, the body turns on an axis formed by a line traveling through the head and the back leg. Keep in mind that the head is moving slightly backwards. The head should stay fairly level and not bob up and down.

Where are the arms and club at the end of the back swing? Should the golf club be parallel to the ground? Honestly, you shouldn’t really don’t give that much thought.  As long as you don’t bend the left arm more than slightly, these positions will be determined by how far you can turn your upper body.

If you keep your back knee in, the back foot will feel your body weight on the inside as the shoulders turn.  Towards the end of the golf back swing, some golfers make the mistake of letting the heel of their front foot leave the ground. If the back swing coils the spring, the feet must stay anchored to the ground to give the body something to coil against. Better to let the front foot roll or sort of lay down on the inside of the foot without dragging.

If you start with a correct golf stance, grip, and back swing, the best advice for your down swing for the most part is to just let it happen!

The down swing and follow through should be the very natural result of everything that precedes it. You may want to use the “No Arms Drill” in the next section to memorize the feel of the golf swing which leads to a more comfortable, automatic golf swing.

If you’re at the correct position at the top of your back swing, your body will start to unwind releasing the golf club which will strike the golf ball and lead to a balanced follow through.

Think of the follow-through as your victory salute to a successful golf swing! Your front leg will be fairly straight and your hips will be forward forming a straight line with your front leg.

Your head may feel like its back a bit and your back leg will be forward of the back foot which has rolled to the inside, front of the foot. Most all of your weight will be on your front foot, completing your weight shift from the back side to the front side.

This is like a barometer of your entire swing. When your golf swing is balanced and smooth, you end with that nice reverse C position at the end.

On the other hand, you could end your golf swing off balance and catching yourself from falling down. Then it’s time to go back to the beginning of your golf swing and find where you lost that balance.

You should have only one swing thought during your golf down swing. That’s because you really don’t have time for two. Consequently, your only thought should be to turn your belt buckle (or bellybutton) towards the target as fast as you possibly can.

This movement should begin about a third or half way through the golf down swing.  It will end, of course, when you are pointed towards the target at which point you will have already hit the golf ball and you’re into the follow through. And you should also be seeing the golf ball traveling straight down the fairway!

On the golf down swing your body will move forward and turn on an axis formed by a line traveling through the head and the front leg. Keep in mind that the head will be moving forward from its position at the end of your golf back swing; however, the head should stay fairly level and not bob up and down.

Since the golf down swing starts from the bottom and works its way up, then the feet are the place to start.  Let’s see, at the end of the back swing, the front foot was rolling (almost laying down) on the inside of that foot.

Consequently, a good trigger motion would start by moving the left side towards the target and placing that foot back to being flat on the ground.

To trigger this move, you should plant your front foot by moving the front knee towards the target. Your lower body will slide towards the target.

Since both knees are still slightly bent and flexed, this move will give you sort of a squatty look and feel. You might feel as if you’re dropping down slightly.  Planting that front foot begins the chain reaction of your body uncoiling and your weight will shift back to the left (front) side.

What you do not want to do is start the down swing with your arms and shoulders. This move will cause your wrists to un-cock too soon (called casting) resulting in some pretty nasty results (topped shots, slices).

The most effective golf swing tip I’ve found to prevent casting is also a very logical one. Begin your down swing before you finish your back swing. Makes sense! You’re not likely to start your down swing with your arms and upper body if they’re still winding up.

So, as you feel your upper body approaching the end of the back swing you will move your front knee towards the target. As you do this, you’ll feel that low, squatty position and know that you’re starting your back swing properly with the lower body.

Often the golf swing feels uncomfortable and awkward, so you may want to try the following drill until you start feeling better about the golf swing.

No Arms Drill

Remember, I said you should probably be spending less time thinking about what your arms are doing and where they’re going? Once my wrists are cocked, I really don’t think much about my arms.

This golf swing drill, simply put, is just practicing your golf swing without using a golf club. Consequently, you’ll be able to concentrate on the feeling of your muscles coiling up and releasing without being confused or distracted by the movement of your arms.

This is also a good opportunity to practice keeping your feet on the ground. Practice having your front foot roll inward on the golf back swing and memorize that feeling.

Another upside to this drill is that you can practice it anywhere or anytime.

Begin by getting into your regular golf stance. You can place a ball down in front of you or imagine where it would be if that helps. Now instead of holding a golf club, cross your arms in front of you to where your left hand is at your right shoulder and your right hand is at your left shoulder.

Try not to do this drill fast or slow, but at a steady tempo. Do this drill frequently and memorize the movements and how they feel so you can do them without think when you’re on the golf course.

Again, the golf back swing starts at the top (your shoulders and arms) and works its way down to your hips and legs. Remember, your head will move to the back but should not bob up or down. It should stay level.

Of course, in this drill you don’t use your arms, so you begin by turning your shoulders. I find it more beneficial to think of turning your midsection (Let’s say about six inches above your bellybutton.) away from the target. Of course when you do it this way your shoulders will also turn. Get comfortable as you are feeling the torque building through your body.

As your shoulders and hips turn, remember to not let your right (back) knee turn outwards (towards the back). This will have the feeling of pushing that knee inwards and/or keeping your body weight more on the inside of the back foot.

Feel the front knee turn inwards and the front foot rolls towards the inside but still stay on the ground.

Start from the bottom. This golf swing drill is a good time to practice moving your front knee towards the target as a trigger to your down swing. Don’t forget to start that move before the back swing is complete. Get comfortable with that low, squatty feeling.

Turn your hips with the swing thought of turning your belt buckle to the target. You will feel like your hips are leading the rest of your body. The shoulders will follow as you pivot on your front leg.

Use this drill to commit to memory, or muscle memory, any movement that isn’t a swing thought.

In a slight variation of this drill, you could start the golf back swing with your arms (no club). Practice hinging your arms at the shoulder and cocking your wrists as your arms cross your chest near the back arm pit triggering your shoulder turn.

And that’s the basics of the golf swing.  You won’t get any better unless you practice, but if you have good solid mechanics in your golf swing, you have the beginning to a great game!

We’ve already said that golf is much more than just a physical game.  It’s a mental game as well.  You have to keep a positive mindset when on the golf course, so getting your mind in the right place is very important.


THE MENTAL GAME OF GOLF

When you begin to address the golf ball and prepare for your swing, it’s essential that you have a sense of relaxation.  If you are tense when you swing your club, the chances of you hitting a bad shot are increased by leaps and bounds.  However, you don’t want to be TOO relaxed lest your grip isn’t tight enough to hit the ball solidly.

Without relaxation, it is more difficult to maintain your tempo or rhythm from swing to swing and stay in good balance from start to finish. Because it is essential for the golf swing to function properly, relaxation of the mind and body should be our first priority. Please keep in mind that this also applies to the short game, even though I will be referring to the full swing.

Tension restricts movement. A quiet, relaxed mind and body allows you to swing more freely. Simply stated, muscle groups respond more easily to a natural, balanced swing motion.

If your mind is tense, your muscles will be too. If you have had a hectic day at work or at home, chances are you will take that tension and anxiety to the first tee. This tension not only causes tight muscles, but can also increase the speed of your swing.

When that happens, the little muscles (hands and arms) take over the big muscles (shoulders, hips, and legs) throughout the golf swing. The big muscle groups cannot move as fast as the little muscles. All body parts must be given time to do their jobs efficiently and in harmony.

First, clear your mind. Picture your mind as a blackboard, and written on it are all the thoughts and happenings of the day. The key is that you’ve got the eraser! Erase your mind of everything and take a moment to put yourself in an environment that makes you relaxed, quiet and happy.

Envision yourself listening to soft music, reading a good book, relaxing in your favorite chair, strolling in the park, hiking, fishing, walking on the beach, or simply being in the mountains.

Basically, pick whatever image that helps you relax, and then put your mind and senses in that personal place. Be explicit. Actually hear the music or the waves. Feel the warm breeze or the water flowing around your body. See the mountains in all their glory. Smell the flowers. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Allow your mind and body to come down so that you can be up and ready to play a good round of golf. Now your mind and body can focus more clearly on one shot, one hole at a time.

Second, practice more relaxation in your grip, stance, and swing. Check the tension level in your grip. The hand pressure on the club should be light. If it is too tight, your takeaway will tend to be jerky and too fast. If you are not sure of the amount of pressure, let your hands feel the difference by squeezing tightly and then releasing to a very light grip.

Notice that when you squeeze tightly, your forearms are tense. This generates tension throughout the body. You want just enough grip pressure so that you won’t lose the club during the swing. No white knuckle! What little pressure you do feel should be in the last three fingers of the let hand, and the third and fourth fingers of the right.

When addressing the ball, your arms should hand relaxed. The forearms should be soft – like ashes, wet noodles, or any other descriptive word of your choice that triggers relaxation. If your left arm is jammed straight, tension is created in the shoulders. I’ve seen some golfers who looked like they were trying to jab their left shoulders into their left ears.

The left arm should hang comfortably straight and the shoulders should droop. The legs should also be set in a relaxed starting position. Trying to force your weight to your insteps can cause lower body immobility.

Now waggle! The waggle helps keep the body loose and in motion. Freezing over the ball can cause tension. Chances are you are thinking too much, and paralysis of analysis can set in. Develop a waggle that is comfortable to you.

Most waggles consist of moving the club to and fro over the ball (not up and down) with a slight weight shift back and forth from foot to foot, while you look at the ball, then to the target, then back to the ball.

If you do not have a clear picture of what a waggle is, observe golfers on television or other golfers on your course. Waggles vary, but good golfers always stay in motion.

Most importantly, your waggle must be one that you are comfortable with. Each person has his or her own waggle personality. Find yours and practice until it becomes ingrained in your swing routine. You can work on this in your backyard.

Initiate the swing and swing relaxed. To practice a relaxed swing, take continuous swings back and forth without stopping. Be aware of any tension you might feel during these swings. Try to stay totally relaxed and loose as you swing back and forth. Don’t be in a hurry to start or finish the swing. When you get to the finish, allow your body to be lazy in returning the club to another backswing. No jerks!

Notice whether your hands and forearms tense when initiating the first swing of the series. If they are tense, then repeatedly practice starting your swing with a feathery grip pressure so that no tension runs through to your forearms and thereby to the rest of your body.

Tension can cause quite an array of problems such as reverse pivots; fast takeaways; forced swings; loss of club head speed; rolling on the outside of the right foot; incorrect swing plane; fat or topped shots; big and little muscle groups not working together; lack of balance; or a fast tempo that your swing cannot handle with any efficiency.

A major problem with even professional golfers is that it is so easy to let our minds take a wide sweeping view of what the next shot means:

  • “How will it affect my score?”
  • “What does it mean to me personally?”
  • “Is this the best round I have ever played? Is it the worse     round?”
  • “If I sink this putt it will put me one up on my opponent!”
  • “My dad is watching, I really want to do well.”

All of these comments, questions and statements are possible, along with hundreds more, at the very time you need to be focused on the elements of planning and executing the shot. If you are doing this, you are not “boxing out” the shot.

“Boxing out” means that you mentally put up a fence around what you need to do, so that you are not distracted by the things and thoughts that have no real bearing on the shot or putt. By not “boxing out” you allow your mind to wander to distractions.

Remember: even pleasant thoughts of success are not relevant to making the shot. Sometimes this lack of limiting your thoughts is called “outcome thinking”. In other words, you spend time and energy thinking of what the outcome could be and how that would feel. This is truly an unwise way of spending the time and energy needed to make the shot.

Think of a piece of paper with words and pictures covering it. All of these words and pictures are in some way related to the next shot, but only a few of them are helpful in making the shot. Now group the needed and useful elements together on the page. Now draw a box around these few things.

Some of the things in the box would be: a solid plan to make the shot, a solid pre-shot routine, feeling the swing or putt in your mind, seeing the ball go to where you want it, and ending up looking at the back of the ball as you swing or putt.

Things left out of the box are: past mistakes, thoughts of how bad it would be to miss the target, thoughts of how good it would be to make the shot, or just about anything else you could think of. All of these are left out of the box because they do not help you make the shot.

It is important to really understand what should be in the box. Make a list of what is important to making the shot. You may even what to consider the sequence or order of the included thoughts. Any other thought or picture is out of the box and not allowed. If you find anything in the box that does not belong in there, simply pick it up by its tail and drop it outside the box. Practice limiting your thinking to only what is in the box.

Begin by practicing at home. Practice “boxing out” fifty times at home before you begin to practice it in physical practice. After two or three weeks of practice you will be ready to begin to use this in competition. Remember, you must first practice mental training at home and then in physical practice before you can expect to use it in competition.

One of the most effective changes that a golfer can bring into his or her game is called step-breathing. The benefits of using step-breathing are many. You give yourself a solid, focused mental and physical place from which to hit your shots or make even the longer putts, you have a time to find the best level of mental arousal, and you gain more control over your playing tempo.

Another advantage of taking the time and centering yourself with step-breathing is that it places a nice dividing line between the thinking part of your golf swing and the hitting part. The old saying is; “The thinking must stop before the hitting begins.”

You begin to learn step-breathing at home. You simply sit in a comfortable chair and imagine a side view of a set of stairs. When each stair drops down, this is your exhale. When the stair is flat, and horizontal to the ground, this is your inhale.

In normal breathing your breath in and out and really never move lower in your body. If you were to graph a normal breath it would be a “U” shaped curve. It would go down on your exhale and back up on you inhale. Your breathing would be one long line of “U” shaped curves. This is fine for taking in oxygen, but not very effective for centering your mind and body to maximize your golf.

You continue your training by practicing lowering your center of breathing from high in your chest, near your throat, down to your lowest point in your stomach. Following your six or seven steps down into your body, remember the exhales are when you drop a little further down and the inhales are the flat part of the step. On the inhale you do not go down, but you also do not go up, as in a normal breath.

Once the breathing is very low in your body practice keeping it there for four or five breaths. Then let it gradually come back up. If you practice this exercise one hundred to one hundred and fifty times you will begin to find that the breathing begins to anticipate your lowered center of breathing and your breathing will automatically drop on the second or third breath.

When this happens you have learned the ability of using the short form of step-breathing. The short form of step-breathing utilizes this learned reaction and allows you to become fully centered using only two or three breaths. On the course, or even in practice, you will need to use this short form of step-breathing so that you can quickly get centered and ready to take the swing or the putt.

After you have learned the short form of step-breathing you are ready to make it part of your pre-shot routine. After you have planned your shot, addressed the ball, recalled a successful shot like the one you are about to make, you can use the step-breathing to end your thinking, relax your body, lock your expectation on the exact target and be externally focused on the ball. No thinking, no worrying, no wobbling of focus and fully ready to put the ball where you want it.

Now that you can center your breathing, begin to use it on the practice tee. Practice your pre-shot routine before each shot. (Did you think the practice tee was only for physical practice? How will you find your best game if you only practice the physical aspects of your game?

Establish your exact target, complete the step-breathing short form, focus on the ball and let yourself hit the ball. By practicing the entire routine you will soon be very comfortable with the procedure and your scores will reflect your new level of mental and physical control.

Do not try to utilize this or any other mental training technique until you have understood the theory and concepts involved and practiced the mental technique to the extent that you are able to fully use the procedure. Then bring it into competition after you have used it in practice several times. There are no short cuts to improving your game. You need to do the work and do it in the right order before you can really enjoy the higher level of play it brings.

Start practicing your long form of step-breathing today and soon you will have the mental control you need to play your best game.

After a mild winter many golfers are ready to hit the links with renewed vigor. Unfortunately, high hopes will be dashed quickly if you can’t keep your emotions in check. Here’s an example of how we like to have ‘Pity” parties for ourselves when we aren’t playing too well.

There was this guy in west Texas delivering a package to a house out in the rural countryside. He pulls up and sees an older gentleman on the porch in his rocking chair. A few feet away there was a dog-moaning and whining away. “Excuse me, Sir.” said the concerned delivery guy to the older man on the porch. “What’s the matter with the dog?”

The old man, with an attitude of indifference replied. “Oh, he’s layin’ on a nail.”

The delivery man asks “Why in the world is he doing that? Why doesn’t he just get up?”

The old man shrugs his shoulders and says, “I reckon he ain’t hurting bad enough yet!”

Well I think we have all met people like that pitiful dog-spending time whining and complaining about how their golf game is so bad and why they can’t play well. Instead of complaining about how life is treating them unfairly they won’t take the initiative to do something about their situation and change their circumstances. Sometimes people like to take umbrage in their miserable plight and they enjoy company whenever possible.

Nothing is going to change until you start hurting bad enough to do something about it. This of course applies not only to your golf game, but life in general. In fact, if people spent as much time looking for the solutions to their golfing problems as they do complaining and making excuses most of their problems would scurry away like that frightened dog.

Instead, they throw a “pity party” and are put out when no one shows up to attend. Life is too short to waste time and energy on such negative thoughts so move on and get some help for your game.

So “get off layin’ on the nail.” and you can start having success and fun on the course again. “Break that old broken record” that has you playing that same sad song and taken your game into tailspin. There’s a great old saying that goes,” If you always do what you’ve always done. You’ll always get what you’ve always got.” It’s time to start seeing the ‘Light through that dark tunnel’ you have built for yourself.

Mark Twain once said, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” There is a multitude of reasons why we bury our games into submission and none of them are good. It’s time for you to start believing and seeing yourself pulling off the shots you dreamed about instead of worrying about where disaster is lurking ready to strike you down on the course and ruin your round.

Many players say that even when they’re playing good they are anticipating the proverbial wheels to come off at any moment. I read a statistic somewhere that 92% of what we worry about or fear never comes to fruition:  meaning that you’re wasting your time on meaningless things distracting you from your goals.

Stop concerning yourself with past events or things in your game that you have no control. “You can’t water yesterday’s crops with today’s tears.” Let it go and move onward!

It’s a good practice to mentally play a round in your mind where you control the ball and place it where you want it to go avoiding all the problems such as water, out of bounds, sand, etc. Try it sometime and let your imagination run wild.

Take notice of this mental exercise to see if you allow bad thoughts to enter your mind even in your pretend round.  Bad habits die hard and the first place to attack them is in your conscious mind.

In order to eliminate bad habits that you have formed in your game try this 3 step process:

  1. First confront your fears in your game and admit them by writing   them down on a piece of paper.
  2. Replace it-it’s time to trade in bad habits and negative behavior for good ones.
  3. Stick with it-by being persistent, diligent and remaining disciplined your game plan you’ll be soon forming a new habit.

We can’t change our circumstances about how the ball bounces so to speak, but we can alter our response to them. It’s all about choice so choose wisely. Having a brighter outlook about playing and excepting occasional bad breaks that are inevitable will help you start getting over being “Teed off” about yourself and your golf game

However, sometimes losing your cool can be good because it can help you let off some steam and help you refocus on the task at hand. Often, as all golfers know we keep it bottled up which can impair our performances for the rest of the round.

The key is to allow yourself to completely vent, then refocus again immediately. By venting I don’t mean throwing or breaking clubs, or cursing. The skill of refocusing lies in knowing what the most important element to master is. How does a person learn to regain composure after losing it?

Just remember that losing your cool is nothing more than focusing on what went wrong, and allowing yourself to get frustrated, angry, ticked off, etc. Think about how you respond when you’re angry – you breathe faster, your body tightens up, your heart rate increases and so on.

These stress messages you’re sending to your brain only make your body tighten up more sabotaging your abilities to perform properly. This unfortunate cycle will continue until you learn to break this broken record set on self-destruct.

In a tense situation the best way to regain your composure is to work in the opposite direction, to get your body to calm down, this in turn will allow your mind to calm down by taking several deep breathes, and by pushing away any negative thoughts.

There’s a good method called “Treeing” which seems appropriate since you’re on the golf course with plenty of trees. What you do is take your emotions in this case negative thoughts and put them onto something else.

Some older cultures throughout the world have used this technique for centuries. They learned to pass their bad feelings or negative emotions to a tree, hence the name. So next time when you’re on the golf course and you’re losing your cool find a tree and push or touch it physically releasing your pressure that you’re feeling into the object and leave it there.

After you have dealt with the past it’s time to move on to the future which in this case is a new hole, or shot at hand. Remember you can’t change the past, but you can profoundly affect your future with the proper mind set. There’s no longer a reason to carry all this emotional baggage to the next hole so let it go. So next time you see a player in the woods a lot during a round maybe they’re just getting rid of some issues that are bothering them.

This is all easier said than done, but like all things with a little practice and some discipline you’ll be recovering from poor shots quicker and salvaging your round instead of going from bad to worse. The best players in the world all have their own particular methods for staying cool, so watch how they handle poor shots while they are in town.

It’s traits like staying cool when everyone else is losing their heads that make the difference from being a good player to becoming a great player.

So many people are harder on themselves than they need to be.  Constantly berating yourself is a recipe for disaster.  The dialog that you hold with yourself is critical to your development as a player and as a person.

Self-talk can be encouraging or it can be detrimental, according to how you present it to yourself. Remember: Your mind doesn’t have a sense of humor. If you program it to do something and the message is negative, it will respond accordingly.

This is why it’s important to monitor your inner dialog; what you say to yourself after a poor shot can be self-destructive. Even the best players in the world are guilty of this mistake, and if they don’t make corrections immediately, the round or tournament is lost.

We’ve all beaten ourselves up after a bad day on the links, or when things don’t go our way. If you watch a tournament on television, periodically you’ll see a player bad-mouthing themselves. They might be saying things such as, “I’m the worst golfer in the world,” or “Why can’t I hit that simple putt? I stink.” These statements or other expletives will bring the golfer down.

The key is to change how you talk to yourself while practicing or on the course. I’ve taught and worked with a number of sports psychologists over the years who gave me some good insight about how to break negative self-talk patterns.

First, you need to be aware of situations when negative thoughts can occur.

Here’s a simple method to get you started on the right track: The next time you head out to play a round of golf, put a handful of pennies in your right pants pocket. Not too many to weigh you down, though.

Every time – and I mean every time – you become aware of negative images or internal dialog where you’re speaking poorly to yourself, transfer one penny from your right pocket to your left pocket. By learning to monitor your thoughts, you’re on the right path to correcting your inner demons.

When you’re finished playing, count out the number of pennies that made the journey from one pants pocket to the other. Then write down the total.  Try to remember what words you used, and what situations prompted them.

Then, start setting some new, clearer goals. In this case, the goal is to attempt to cut down on the number of negative self-talk speeches. Just like you have goals to shoot certain scores, you need to apply this same attitude with correcting this debilitating self-talk.

Once you have been able to calmly re-examine your round and your outbursts of negativity, imagine yourself reacting to those circumstances in a different way and replacing those negative statements with positive thoughts. Learn to laugh with yourself and say, “I can do this shot,” and other such positive feedback to reinforce your self-worth.

With each round, make a conscious choice to reduce the negativity and try to remain positive – remember it’s only a game. With some diligent practice and commitment, you’re on your way to erasing bad thoughts about your golf game.

Now that we’ve covered what should be going on in your head, let’s take a moment to examine each of the most important golf shots.

DRIVING THE BALL

While driving the golf ball might seem like a simple process, it really isn’t.  Some seasoned golfers just look at driving the ball as a simple process.  “Grip it and rip it” is a common phrase you can hear on many tee boxes.  However, there are some things you can do to get more distance on your drives.

First and foremost, you need to be relaxed when you begin addressing the ball.  You must be loose before pulling back the club.  Do not tighten up over the golf ball.  It is important to waggle the club back and forth a few times in order to create some flow to start the golf swing.  This action will promote proper rhythm and tempo.

Teeing the ball higher will aid in hitting the ball farther.  By teeing the ball higher, it will help achieve better launch angle and reduce backspin at impact.  This will allow the ball to be hit on the up-swing – producing more carry and distance.

One of the most valuable pieces of advice this recreational golfer ever received was to look at the back of the ball.  It’s easy to take your gaze off of that little white orb, but if you are not looking at the ball before you hit it, you will be more likely to miss it.

You will want to have a wider stance in order to gain more stability in your backswing.  Approximately sixty percent of your body weight on the left side to gain a more powerful coil.  If you’re right handed, point your left toe more inline to the target.  You’ll need to swing harder and put more of your right hand into hitting the ball, and take advantage of all of the elements – especially the wind, if there is any.

When you’re at the top of your backswing, be sure to turn your shoulders a full 90 degrees. Your back should actually be facing the target. Look at John Daly when he drives the golf ball. He has a massive shoulder turn. Many players ask him all the time how he does it. He says it’s due to having a sound technique and a wide swing arc. He always has a rhythm to his golf swing and is never out of sync on his swing.

After you reach the top of your backswing, you’re ready to begin the downswing. Do not rush your downswing. If you do, you’ll have an increased chance of swinging straight down on the ball and eliminating any power you had going. You will also most likely chili dip and miss hit the golf ball. Look at Fred Couples and his downswing. It’s nearly flawless.

Make sure to keep your left arm straight during your transition. When you keep your arm straight it enables the club head to remain square and hit the ball properly. Don’t have a herky-jerky swing. Keep your golf swing smooth. Picture yourself hitting through the ball, not just to it. Hit hard with your right hand.

Be sure to take advantage of the playing elements to help give you more distance; especially using the wind to your advantage. When you have the wind at your back, you should tee the golf ball higher than normal. This gives you a higher ball flight with more carry in the air. That means greater distance.  When you’re playing into the wind you want the opposite. Tee the ball down a little more than usual.

As mentioned before, you will want to look at the ball before hitting it.  Some players find this difficult as it makes them lose focus as they concentrate too much on the ball.  An easy answer to this problem is to turn your chin to the right and point it about two or three inches behind the ball.  Keep it there until impact and then watch the ball sail through the air.

Believe it or not, the pressure you use to grip the club is important in driving the ball longer.  Even though you may think that gripping harder and swinging harder produces results that is absolutely incorrect and is probably why you don’t get consistent distance.

The great players indicated that the grip pressure should resemble one holding a bird without crushing it but also not letting it go. The tighter you hold the club, the less it will release through the ball creating severe pulls and big ballooning slices. Swinging hard is ok but the hands must be tension free.

Your driving wood should stay along the ground for a least the first 20 to 25 percent of your swing. If your club is lifting up, you will pop the ball up and not get that long boring drive that you see the pros hit regularly when the ball takes off like a missile and slowly climbs to a beautiful height and tracks down the fairway.

Keep the angle on your leading hand. Many amateurs tend to flip the hands forward in an effort to get the ball in the air, but this only retards the effort of having good equipment.  The leading hand (left hand for most players, right hand southpaws) should be angled down towards the ball on the downswing.

It’s like you are hitting the ball with the back of left hand. If your left hand is flipping up on the downswing, your contact will not be solid and you will get consistent misses with your wood. This tip also starts the ball low and lets its climb on its own through your generated power.

Finish towards the target. Pick a spot on the ground that lines up with your target and from your address stretch your wood towards it. If done correctly, your arms should form a V shape with both arms fully extended. Finish the swing over your left shoulder.

Do you have a tendency to bend your left arm early? That also will retard distance; keep your V as long as possible before it bends at the finish of your swing and you will find yourself getting much more distance.

Speed can be increased by setting the wrists into a cocked position early, and on the downswing keeping the wrists cocked for as late as possible, and then swishing through the ball. This is similar to flicking your wrists when using a badminton, squash, or tennis racket.

Golfers who are inclined to hit at the ball with their hands rather than swinging through the ball find that they lose a lot of power, and hence distance.  Your power comes from your body, not from your hands.  If you want to drive the ball further, don’t hit the ball with your hands – let the club do the work it was designed to do.

Of course, you will want to choose the right club for the distance of the hole.  Obviously, you will want to choose a driver for the longer holes to get maximum distance, but for shorter holes like Par 3s, you will likely want to choose a smaller club like an iron.  You will want to try and get as close to the hole as possible, but you also don’t want to overshoot the green either.

The best way to know how far you can hit specific clubs is to get on the driving range.  Because golf isn’t an exact science, there are a lot of variables that come into play with the golf swing.  But if you practice a lot, your chances of hitting the ball consistently are much higher.  Plus, you will know which club is your hundred yard club and which one is your 50 yard club.

After you have driven the ball, you’ll (hopefully) be in the fairway.

FAIRWAY SHOTS

Once you have driven off the tee box, you will probably be faced with a second shot, hopefully from the fairway.  Of course, we hope that you’ve been able to make it to the green, but on longer par 5 holes, that’s just not realistic for most golfers.

The lie of the ball in a fairway shot will dictate how you hit your next shot.  In some friendly games, your opponents may allow you to put the ball up on some grass.  This will emulate, in a way, a tee since you cannot use a tee with a fairway shot.  In tournaments or serious money games, you will probably have to play the ball as it lies, so it’s a good idea to know how to hit an effective fairway shot.

Many inexperienced golfers are intimidated by the fairway shot.  They will often baby their swing and not hit the ball fully.  This is a huge mistake.  Golf clubs are designed to work with a full golf swing and do a specific job, so choose a club that matches your distance from the hole and then take a full swing.  Don’t be afraid that you’ll overshoot the hole.  If you’ve picked the right club, you’ll get to the green.

Aim your left shoulder (the right one if you’re a southpaw) at your target – the flag.  Your hands should be in front of the ball at impact.  Keep the same swing motions as if you are driving the ball.  To help square your clubface, try to touch your left forearm with your right forearm at impact.

If you are in deep grass, the main idea is to get the ball up in the air.  That means you will want a club that has a lot of loft.  That means an 8 or 9 iron ideally.  However, remember that you will most likely not get a lot of distance with these smaller clubs.

When you swing, be sure and follow through after impact.  The laws of physics dictate that when you strike the ball, it will be carried through and into the air as your arms bring the club back up.

Your technique on deep grass shots should be geared toward minimizing the intervention of the grass. In other words, you want to hit the ball as cleanly as possible. To do that, you need to move the ball back in your stance.

If, for instance, on a 5-iron shot from the fairway you position the ball off your left heel, move it back to a spot an inch to the right of your heel for a shot from the rough. This ball position should leave your hands slightly ahead of the clubface at address. From that setup you’ll tend to swing the club up a bit more vertically on the backswing and return it a bit more steeply to the ball. With this steeper attack the clubface will come down on the ball rather than brush through the grass.

For really deep grass, again, the idea is to minimize the presence of the grass and how it will affect your shot.  Once again, play the ball back in your stance, but this time, play it two inches back instead of one, because you’re going to have to go down after the ball.

To further increase the steepness of the swing, open your stance a few degrees so that your feet, knees, hips and shoulders align to the left. Your club head should align square to the target line. It’s the same basic alignment as for a slice, but when playing a short iron from the rough 1 you won’t have to worry about any sideward spin.

Since the grass will grab at your club and close the face: at impact, you’ll want an extra-firm grip in your left hand. Alternatively, you can aim the clubface a bit right of your target at address, thereby allowing the grass to turn the face into a square position at impact.

The swing should be an aggressive, forceful one. If you get a kick out of swinging hard, this is the place to enjoy yourself. It’s a powerful, steep chop that must go down and through the thick stuff. Be sure to keep the club accelerating through impact; otherwise you’ll risk moving the ball only a few feet. The faster you can get the club moving through the ball, the faster that ball will climb out of its nest and the farther it will go.

Eventually, you’ll be close enough to chip.

CHIPPING

This is the part of golf that many golfers have the most trouble with.  Because chipping requires a bit of finesse, it’s much easier to flub a shot or overshoot the hole.  There are some good techniques you can use when chipping the ball up onto the green.

There are two parts to a successful short game: the plan and the execution. The plan is simply defining your shot before you play it. You should determine where you plan to land the ball and how far it will roll. The plan should include landing the ball on the green whenever possible and playing the best percentage shot. The best percentage shot is usually the one that is simplest to execute.

Since you are hitting the ball a shorter distance than with a full swing, you should choke up on the club, narrow your stance, and stand closer to the ball. Picture the shot you’re about to play and make a practice swing to approximate the swing you’ll need. The club should be swung with arms and shoulders, with some wrist break. The key to shots around the green is to “keep the arms moving”.

As with other golf shots, picking the right club is essential to an effective chip.  First of all, chip shots are essentially those played from right off the green. Most are otherwise known as “bump and runs.” Don’t confuse them with pitches, which are lofted shots with a sand-wedge.

Many of us have been taught over the years to get the ball on the green as soon as possible and let it roll to the hole. There is nothing wrong with this. This is fine.

The issue of concern, however, is when golfers go about playing different length of chips with an assortment of clubs. They hit a 9-iron if the flag is 20 feet away, 8-iron thirty feet, 7-iron forty feet, etc. You should really just choose ONE club to hit all of your “bump and runs” with, and adjust for the distance with the force of your swing.

It can be a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, wedge, or sand wedge. It doesn’t matter that much. A great player, Phil Mickelson, likes to use his sand wedge in just about every case. He will play it far back in his stance, with his hands way ahead to bump it. On the other hand, Corey Pavin often uses a 5-iron around the green. He just “taps” it and the ball goes scurrying across the green with a lot of topspin.

These are extremes, however. You should pick a 7, 8, or 9-iron. I, personally, like to use a 9-iron for chipping. I know how the ball is going to come off of the club because that’s the one I practice with all the time. I have tried using a 7-iron on longer chips, but the ball seems to explode off the club face because I am not sure the proper force that I need to use.

The art of chipping is hard enough without having to master four or five clubs. Practice with a couple at first. You should hit short “bump and runs” from the fringe and then longer “bump and runs” from in front of the green.

From there, decide which one you like better, which one you can control the spin better with, and ultimately which one that you can control the distance better with. Then, put the other one in the bag, and practice with the one you chose. Master this one club approach and your chipping will improve dramatically.

You will want most of your weight to be focused on your lead foot.  For right handers, that would be the left foot.  Your swing should be in a pendulum motion with no wrist action.  If you break your wrists on a chip shot, your ball is going to shoot to one side or you may overshoot the hole altogether.

As we’ve said, you often won’t want to take a full swing when chipping.  Gauge the distance you are away from the hole and then estimate how hard you’ll have to hit the ball to get it to the hole – or at least close to the hole!

Here are some general tips on chipping that can really help:

  • Keep your hands ahead of, or even with, the club head on the follow-through.
  • Grip the club firmly so that the rough doesn’t twist the club on the swing.
  • Get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible; this will make it easier to control the shot
  • In deep rough, angle the club so the toe is the only part touching the ground.
  • In windy or downhill conditions, or on fast greens, always chip the ball instead of pitching it.
  • Repair all divots taken.
  • Be careful not to hit the ball too hard; otherwise it might roll off the other side of the green.

Chipping should not be confused with pitching.  When you chip a ball, you are going to be just off the green and you want the ball to easily roll across the green and toward your target.  A pitch shot is a lofted shot that flies more than it rolls.  A pitch is usually used when you are a little further off the green but you still are close enough that you won’t want to take a full golf swing.

A pitch shot is usually from 30-70 yards away from the green.  You can also use a pitch shot if you need to hit above trees, hazards, or sand traps.

Use a lofted wedge club like a sand wedge, a pitching wedge, or a lob wedge.  These clubs have faces that allow you to get underneath the ball and put it in the air.

You will want an open stance with your feet closer together.  The ball should be positioned in the center of the stance.  Your body turn will be determined by the size of the swing.  Focus about 70 percent of your weight on your lead foot.

You will have to modify your backswing according to the distance you have to go to the hole.  It can be waist high, shoulder high, or a full swing.  Just don’t put too much power into it or you will overshoot the green.  Let your legs and body turn slightly through the shot.

As with any shot, your aim should be to present the clubface perfectly square to the target. But this is even more important with the pitch, as any minor deviations will be magnified by such an intense shot. Aim for a ball then turf contact. If you are regularly thinning the ball when attempting this shot, you are probably not accelerating into it.

Once on the green, you’ll want to putt effectively.  There’s nothing more frustrating than taking more putts than what you need to.

PUTTING

Again, many golfers have trouble with their putting.  I know of one experienced golfer who can consistently drive the ball 250 to 300 yards only to get on the green and three putt.  Nothing frustrates him more, but putting is an important part of your golf game – possibly THE most important part.

Stroking the ball is only one part of putting.  To putt effectively, you first need to know how to read a green.  That means looking at the trajectory your ball will travel and compensate for any dips, hills, or anything else that could cause your ball to move a specific way.

Good green reading comes with experience. After hitting enough putts over enough different types of terrain and grass, you develop a sixth sense of how the ball will roll. As you walk onto a green, whether you realize it or not, you take in all sorts of subtle information.

If the green appears light, you know you’re putting against the grain; if it’s dark you’re down grain. If the green is set on a high area of the course and you feel a breeze as you step onto it, you sense that the putt will be fast. Even if you don’t look closely at the surrounding terrain, you are aware of any major slope in the land.

Without having to tell yourself, you know which the low side of the green is and which the high is. If the putting surface is hard and crusty under foot, you receive one message; if it’s soft and spongy you get another. Experience with many, many putts allows you to run this data through your computer before you even mark your ball.

The most elusive aspect of green reading has to do with the grain. Grain refers to the direction in which the blades of grass grow. The light/dark appearance is one way to read it. Another method you can use is to take your putter blade and scrape it across a patch of fringe. If the blades of grass brush up, you’re scraping against the grain. If they mat down, you’re scraping with it. (Incidentally, be sure to do this scraping on the fringe. On the greens, it’s against Rule 35-1f.)

A third method is to take a look at the cup. Often, the blades of grass will grow over the edge of the cup in the direction in which the grain moves. Incidentally, grain usually grows toward water, especially toward the ocean, and in the East it’s apt to lean toward the mountains. If you’re not near any such topography, figure on the grain growing in the direction of the setting sun.

Grain is strongest on Bermuda grass, where short, crew-cut-like blades tend to push the ball strongly. Although each putt on each green is different, as a general rule you can figure on stroking the ball about 20 percent harder than usual on a putt that’s dead into the grain, and about 20 percent less on a down grain putt.

When the ball breaks with the grain, you need to read-in extra “borrow” on the putt. When the slope is against the grain, play for less break. These effects are less marked on the long-stemmed bent and other strains of grass, but they are present nonetheless.

The break of your putt will also be affected by the firmness of a green, the wetness/dryness, the amount of wind you’re facing, and even the time of day. In general, any time you have to hit the ball hard, you play for less break.

Another way of reading the break on a green is to watch the way other players’ putts behave. I’m all for this “going to school,” but with one caveat: Allow for any difference between your own playing style and those of your fellow players. If, for instance, your friend is a lagger and you’re a charger, don’t play as much break as he does.

Finally, one hard and fast rule in putting is this: Never hit the ball until you have a good vision of the path on which it will roll. Sometimes the vision will come to you immediately. You’ll see the perfect putt the minute you step up to it, and more often than not, you’ll sink it just as you saw it.

Other times, it will take much longer to get a picture of the putt, and even then you won’t be comfortable. But don’t make your stroke until you have the best read you can get. You have to believe in your line if you want to have a good chance of sinking any putt.

If the green is located near water, you can bet the ball is going to break towards that body of water.  I’m not sure why this is, but it is certainly true.

It’s essential that you know you shouldn’t be aiming for the hole.  Good putters know that you have to pick a spot on the green and then aim for that spot.  For example, if you think the ball will break three inches to the right, pick a spot three inches to the left and shoot at that spot.

Don’t think of a putt as a curved shot – think of every putt as being straight on.  When you have your spot, aim to have the ball travel right over that spot.  If you have read the green correctly, the ball will naturally travel into the hole.

Don’t rush reading a green.  Take a look at how your ball lies from all angles.  Walk around it; look at it from across the pin to see the trajectory that the ball needs to travel at.  But have respect for your fellow golfers.  Don’t take forever reading a green.  It’s not rocket science and you won’t want to hold up play.

Keep in mind that the line of the putt has little to do with being able to put the ball in the hole.  Good putting depends on the speed of the ball when it leaves your putter’s face.  But achieving that speed can be quite elusive.  There’s no easy way to judge how hard you need to hit the ball to get good speed.  However, there is something you can do.

Go to the practice putting green.  Hit several putts with about a 12-inch backswing.  Do this over and over until you can get a good idea of how far the ball will go with that 12-inch backswing.  Then when you get on the real green, you can use that putt as a reference to determine how much you will have to add or take away from your backswing to sink the putt.

The way you grip your putter can make a difference in accurate putting as well.  You can choose what’s best for you, but most professional golfers know that gripping a driver and gripping a putter should be two different animals.

You will want complete control of your putter for the most accuracy.  One technique that can help you do this is to modify your grip so that both of your index fingers are extending down either side of the shaft and your thumbs are placed together on the top of the shaft.  This can help you guide your putter smoothly and improve your accuracy.

When in your stance, you need to be positioned directly over the ball.  I like to call this hovering the putt because you are hovering over the ball like a mother hovers over her children.  Set the putter square to the target and have the ball positioned right in the middle of the club face – which most people refer to as the “sweet spot”.

Keep your body free of tension and your body motion limited.  When you swing, you should do so in a pendulum-like motion using your shoulders not your hips.  Always follow through with your putt and accelerate through the ball.  Your follow through should be about the same distance as your pull back motion and you need to keep your eyes on the ball at all times.

And most golfers know that if you are faced with either an uphill putt or a downhill put, you should always go with the uphill choice.  A downhill putt is much more complicated because of gravity whereas when you putt uphill, you can gain more control of your stroke.

Good putting is essential to a good golf game, so practice as much as you can and try to be consistent in all you do.

SAND TRAPS

Ah, those fairway bunkers – the golfer’s bane.  Sand traps are a reality on many courses, and you will probably find yourself having to shoot out of them on a fairly regular basis.  Although we certainly hope that’s not the case, it certainly is possible.  Knowing how to effectively hit out of a sand trap is another huge part of a good golf game.

First, don’t be afraid of the bunker shot.  Sure, it can be intimidating, but you can develop good technique that will get you out of the sand and back on the grass – even on the green.

Establish firm footing and take an open stance.  Open the clubface by turning it to the outside before hitting the ball.  This will put loft on the ball and allow the back portion of the bottom of the club to bounce off the sand instead of having the leading edge dig into the sand.  You will want to use a wedge for this shot – preferably a sand wedge.

Distribute most of your weight to the left side of your body. You will swing the club back and through the same distance.  Don’t let the clubface close and accelerate through the ball.  Don’t let the club touch the sand (a big rules no-no) and concentrate on hitting the sand about two inches behind the ball.

What you are trying to do is take as little sand as possible without making contact with the ball.  You want the sand to life the ball out of the bunker.  As you make contact with the sand there should be a cupping of the left wrist.

Let me explain “cupping.” Assume you are wearing a watch on your left wrist and the face, as usual, is pointing outward. When contacting the sand on the forward swing, you should try to take the back of your left hand and move it towards your watch face, thereby creating wrinkles underneath your left wrist.

This action is called “cupping of the wrist” and it is very necessary in producing quality sand shots. Since this motion prevents the club from closing, the ball is lifted in the air with backspin.

You will want to have a neutral grip on the club.  You don’t want to use a strong grip for bunker shots because it’s absolutely essential that the club face slides under the ball and into your finish without the club face closing.

A neutral grip is one that has the back of the left hand facing parallel to the target line and the right palm facing the same direction. Slap your hands together in front of you and you’ll instantly see what I mean.  You can also choke down on the club in an effort to gain more control.

Aim the club face down the target line which should be just left of the hole. You’ve heard all the hype about opening the club face and such and that’s fine if you hit a lot of bunker shots but most folks don’t so aim the club face down the target line which should be just left of the hole. The target should be just left of the hole because this method will impart some left to right spin which will move the ball from left to right once it gets on the ground.

Aim your feet on a 20-30 degree angle to the left of the target line. The greater the angle you create between your feet and the target line, the higher and softer the ball will come out of the trap. Practice these shots a bit with varying angles and you’ll see what I mean. Find the angle where you’re most comfortable and which produces the best results and stick with it whatever it might be.

This all works for balls that are lying on top of the sand, but what do you do if your ball is buried?  The technique is different.

When your ball is buried (fried egg) in the bunker, you do not want to swing super long and follow through. The idea is to pick your sand wedge up abruptly, swing down steep, stick your club in the sand, and leave it there. What will happen is your ball will pop out. It won’t have any spin on it because of the lie, but the chance of it getting out of the sand are much better than if you were to follow through.

Why is this so…? You want a very steep angle of attack and no follow through on this shot because it allows for the club to get more underneath the ball. With some of the ball resting below the surface, you need to compensate to get underneath it. That is where a short, steep, punchy type of swing works best.

A typical bunker shot calls for an open stance, an open clubface, and a nice shallow swing while taking a little bit of sand. That will not work with a plugged lie, regardless of how hard you swing. Your club will be approaching from too shallow an angle.

You will hit the sand to the RIGHT of the ball, instead of hitting the sand UNDERNEATH the ball. Thus, your club will just bounce, or deflect into the ball. Worse yet, you will plow too much sand into the back of ball and it will go nowhere. You need to get below the ball somehow.

Here’s what I recommend from a buried lie in a greenside bunker:

  1. Set up with a bit squarer stance.
  2. Square the clubface a bit also. This will allow for the leading edge to enter the sand first.
  3. Pick the club up steeper, and then swing down steeper and stick the club in the ground. Hit about 1-3 inches behind the ball. You can swing hard, just don’t follow through. You won’t be able to follow through if you make the correct swing, because you will be coming down too steep. That’s good!

This is not a shot that you will face a lot, but I still think it is worth practicing. Go to a practice trap and step on a couple balls to bury them a little. Then hit some shots. Experiment a bit. Especially get the feeling of that up and down “chopping” motion, and that no follow through release. By doing so, you will find that this shot is not really that hard to get out of the bunker.

After a round of golf while socializing in the ’19th Hole’, you will always hear “I hit the ball well but didn’t score.” The object of the game of golf is to score the lowest possible score you can. How you can hit the ball well and not score can be summed up in two words: course management.

 

 

COURSE MANAGEMENT

 

You can ruin a good round by trying to pull off that one in a million shot and making a triple bogey. After hitting a shot into trouble you are almost always better off to take a safe route out and play for a bogey.

What exactly is course management?  Essentially, it means adapting your game to the specific nuances of the course and playing the course in the best way you can to achieve a good score.

When does course management start? Some players will tell you it starts after they have to make a decision on the course. Nothing could be further from the truth. Course management starts before you tee off on the first hole. You should always have a plan for the round you are playing and more importantly you should always have a plan and a target for each and every shot.

One particular area that most all golfers should concentrate on is hitting the ball from 125-150 yards out to the green. By improving your game in this area you’ll give yourself many more chances for birdie and par putts.

The key to this aspect of your game is being able to “know” that you can hit the ball onto any green from 150 yards out. You want to get to the point where you can consistently knock on 8 or 9 iron onto the green every time!

It may sound difficult if you’re a higher handicap golfer, but it’s really not. 125 -150 yards is very manageable, and most greens are large in size. In addition, hitting 8 and 9 irons are much easier to control than your longer irons.

If you have a tough time swinging these clubs then this is an area where you need to spend some quality practice time on. Once you do get this down, the only part left is distance management.

That’s the first key. The next point is working your game around the 150 yard shot.

If you’re on a 550 yard par 5, you know if you hit a decent drive and even if you hit your second shot poorly, leaving you with 135 yards to the green, you know you can now get it on the green with your third shot.

So, even though you didn’t hit a great second shot, because you have the 150 yard shot in your bag you’re still putting for birdie. This is what good course management is all about.

It’s amazing what focusing on this part of your game can do for you. You’ll see your golf game differently. Now you’ll know that no matter what kind of trouble you get into off the tee box, all you need to do is get your ball 135-150 yards out and you’ll be fine.

Practice until you can master this shot. Then build your golf game with that thought in place. By doing so, you won’t be worrying as much on how to hit bunker shots, chips shots and other tough greenside shots.

Instead of being completely frustrated, you’ll find yourself having more fun.

Once you have this shot in your bag, then you can focus on putting, driving, or hitting your long irons. Until then, put all your efforts into mastering the 125-150 yard shot. If you will take this advice I can honestly tell you that you will dramatically lower your golf scores.

You have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are on the golf course.  This is essential to the principles of course management.  You must know how far you can hit the ball with specific clubs in order to navigate the course in as few shots as possible.

When you are managing the course, you are taking into account the problems and strengths of your game and applying them to the way the course is laid out.  Let’s look at two examples:

  1. You are on a par 5 hole with light rough on the left side of the fairway and a lateral water hazard up the right.  You’re pretty confident you can hit the green in regulation, but you have a propensity for hitting a “banana ball” or a hard slice.  How should you hit this shot taking into consideration the way you play?Most players would just hit it up the middle trying to hit the ball straight hoping to keep the water out of play.  However, that water hazard is the hole’s strength and your slice is your weakness.  It’s foolish to pit the two against each other because you will probably be the loser.Aim your teen shot to land in the rough on the left side of the fairway.  In this case, your normal slice will result in a second shot from the fairway while a straight ball will result in a second shot from the rough.  However, you will probably still be able to reach the green in regulation from the rough.Most fairways are at least 40 yards wide.  If you aim 10 yards to the left of the fairway, it would take a 50 yard slice to get the ball to the water.  A shot with that much curve is rare, so this is definitely the best way to play this hole.
  2. You are 150 yards from the green with the pin placed at the front of the green, but the pin is tucked behind a menacing sand trap.  You’ve spent a lot of time practicing getting out of the sand and on the green in one shot, but you’re not confident enough in your ability to do it just yet.  Your 150-yard club is an 8 iron.  What do you do to try and avoid landing in the bunker?Most golfers would automatically reach for their 8 iron, and “take dead aim”. However if you were to play with sound course strategy, you would take a 7 iron and aim for the middle back of the green leaving a straight forward two putt for par.Most people would be afraid of going over the green, but you know that your 7 iron goes a maximum of 165 yards. Even if you hits your best shot you will still have a 45 foot putt for birdie.  You also know that if you miss hit the 7 iron it will wind up pin high and in almost no circumstance will the dreaded bunker be in play.

On the other hand if you choose the 8 iron, it will require a near perfect strike to get the ball to the flag. The slightest miss hit results in your ball landing in the sand trap.  Here, the 7-iron is the right club based on the layout of the hole.

 

Putting course management into play with your golf game requires a good working knowledge of the way you play and what you are capable of doing.  That means you need to track your progress and really pay attention to how your game is coming along.

 

Course management skills can really help shave strokes off of your score.  So can knowing what the most common mistakes and problems golfers have along with ways to combat them.

 

 

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH A SWING

 

As we’ve said numerous times, golf is not an exact science.  Many golfers have worked for years and years trying to perfect their swing and improve their game.  However, problems do arise.  They come about mostly because golfers tend to forget the basic mechanics of the game and start playing sloppy.

 

In this section, we’ll address some of the more common problems golfers have along with mistakes they make.  We’ll also offer up some suggestions to help you combat these problems and get on the road toward playing better golf.

 

The Slice

 

A slice is a specific left-to-right trajectory shape for a golf ball created by a significant tilt of the spin-axis of the golf ball to the right, or a clockwise spin. This is opposite for lefties. A slice usually ends up right of the target line, and the term is often used when the curve in the trajectory is extreme and unintentional. The less extreme version of a slice is called a “fade”.

 

In understanding the basics of the golf swing, in order to hit the ball squarely and straight every time, you must return to the original spot at impact. A slice is caused by the club face being slightly open at the point of impact, thus causing the ball to spin in a clockwise motion, (opposite for lefties). In most cases the swing path is correct, but the golf ball is not being hit squarely at the point of impact, commonly caused by what is known as a “weak grip”.

A second factor that causes a golf slice may be swing speed and shaft stiffness. If you use a stiff shaft driver try a regular flex or mid flex shaft and that may correct your problem.

 

The simplest fix for a slice is in the grip. By having a “weak grip”, a grip that is turned more counter-clockwise, (opposite for lefties), can cause the club face to open at the time of impact.

 

You should start by turning your grip slightly to the right, (left for lefties), thus giving you a “stronger grip”, not holding the club more tightly. Remember the basics and only hold the club tight enough to keep control. You should not have any tension on your wrist and forearms.

You may want to try increasing your swing speed by pulling the club farther back before swinging to fix your golf slice.  When you increase your swing speed you can gain yardage and will hit the fairways more often.

Make sure not to bend over too far or round house your swing similar to a baseball swing. Bring your club back straight and follow through on the swing.

Point the label on the ball in the direction you want it to go when teeing it up. This way you can concentrate on the ball without looking up.

 

Then, when you tee up your ball, follow this checklist faithfully:

  • Stand Straighter
  • Bend Knees Slightly
  • Keep Feet Shoulder Width
  • Line Up Ball with Front Foot
  • Tip the Club Face in Just a Bit
  • Loosen Your Grip
  • Keep Your Eye on the Ball
  • Clear Your Mind
  • Now Hit the Fairway

Draw/Fade

 

The less extreme version of a Hook is called a “Draw”, and the less extreme version of a slice is called a “Fade”. Many golfers find that they are only having a draw or fade with their longer clubs, and they are very accurate with their shorter clubs.

 

Both the draw and the fade are both products of a stronger swing and can be normal. Many golfers use the fade and the draw to their advantage. Slight modifications to your swing will correct both problems, but be careful; tampering with perfection could lead to disaster.

 

If you are consistent with the fade or the draw, my advice would be to continue to play either shot, just slightly change your aim. If you are inconsistent in your shots and you sometimes fade, draw, slice or hook, look into getting back to the basics and modify your swing to correct your inconsistencies.

 

Hook

 

A hook is a specific right-to-left trajectory shape for a golf ball created by a significant tilt of the spin-axis of the golf ball to the left, or a counter-clockwise spin. This is opposite for lefties. A hook usually ends up to the left of the target line, and the term is often used when the curve in the trajectory is extreme and unintentional. The less extreme version of a hook is called a “draw”.

 

In understanding the basics of the golf swing, in order to hit the ball squarely and straight every time, you must return to the original spot at impact. A hook is caused by the club face being slightly closed at the point of impact, thus causing the ball to spin in a counter-clockwise motion, (opposite for lefties). In most cases the swing path is correct, but the golf ball is not being hit squarely at the point of impact, commonly caused by what is known as a “strong grip”.

 

As in the slice, the hook is often a product of an improper grip. Start by looking at your current grip. Remembering the basics of the golf grip, you should only see 2 knuckles of your left hand. If you see 3 knuckles, then you have a “strong grip” and this maybe the cause of your golf hook.

 

You can fix your hook by trying to change your grip to a “weak grip”. Turn your hands slightly counter-clockwise on your grip, (opposite for lefties), thus weakening the grip. Grip pressure is also a key element in the release process. If the pressure is too loose at impact then the tendency will for the club to release too early causing the ball to hook.

 

Remember the basics and only hold the club tight enough to keep control. You should not have any tension on your wrist and forearms. Practice the grip and check your results. Changing your grip should be slight, over compensating can cause other problems with your swing or begin to cause you to slice.

 

Most golf hooks are from a “strong grip”, but in order for you to correct your hook properly; you must have the know-how and learn the basics of the golf swing.

 

Push

 

A push is a ball that goes directly to the right because of the action of the club. This should not be mistaken for a slice. A slice is an action of the ball spinning clockwise. A slice normally begins to the target and arcs away to the right, (left for lefties). A push is an action of the swing and is normally in an in-to-out swing motion. The opposite of the push is the pull, which is an out-to-in swing motion.

 

The push is caused by the swing path of the club. In the down swing, the path of the club will travel in an in-to-out path. Normally this is caused by throwing your arms ahead of your shoulders, being too close to the ball, and trying to over compensate your swing to make contact with the ball, or having your hips ahead of the impact area. These are the easiest to identify, but there could be other reasons.

 

The easiest way to fix a push is to go back to the basics of the golf swing. The push is directly related to the action of the golf swing. Throwing your arms ahead of your shoulders, make sure that during your back swing, you push your arms out with your shoulders, and on the down swing, you pull your arms down with your shoulders.

 

At the point of impact you should be back to the same point as you were at your stance. Standing too close to the ball, check out your stance. The club face should be positioned center of the ball and the butt end of the club should be about 4-5 inches from the inside of the left thigh and in line with it.

 

Having your hips ahead of the impact area, again, you should remember to be exactly the same at the point of impact as you were at your stance. The push comes from an improper club swing and knowing the basics.

 

Shank

 

The shank is a missed hit ball off the club face. Other ways that a ball can be missed hit include topping, whiffing, blading, dubbed, or fat shot. All of these miss hits are the product of only a few things;

  • Not keeping your head down through your swing.
  • Standing too close or too far from the ball.
  • Improper Club Grip.
  • Improper Swing Dynamics.

A shank is something that nobody wants to have happen to them. A shank is normally a product of not concentrating. Slow down, remember the basics, keep your head down, and concentrate on the shot at hand. The shank is one of the easiest fixable problems in golf.

Remember your training and get back to the basics. By getting back to the basics of golf, and learning the correct grip or proper stance, and using the proper swing technique will help in eliminating all of the problems with miss hitting the ball.

Those are the most common problems golfers find with their swing.  There are also some very common mistakes that golfers make.

COMMON MISTAKES

It’s difficult sometimes to hit a good golf shot.  Some of us hack away at a ball hoping that we can get off a good shot and be proud at least for a few moments.  But if we know what the most common mistakes are in the golf game, we can take steps to correct those mistakes and extend that pride throughout our game.

The Exaggerated Twist

Most people believe that the more they turn their backswing, the more distance they will gain.  This is simply not true.  Actually, to gain distance, you need to find the perfect posture and perform a fluid swing that will insure solid contact with the ball.  If you exaggerate the twist, you will go out of the ideal swing plane and have to over-compensate to even make contact.  Plus, the chances of coming out with a slice, a hook, or even topping the ball are much greater.

Rolling Hands

This is a common mistake and one that feels OK as you are doing it. As the backswing progresses the club gets too far inside and behind you and the clubface is open, facing the sky. To finish the backswing you will lift the arms and put the club in a steep and weak position, maybe even getting it across the line.

If this is your mistake, you need to monitor how much the left wrist rotates early in the swing. Take the club back to waist high and allow only 90 degrees of rotation, so the back of your left wrist is parallel to your body line and the shaft is in line with your toes. The toe of the club should be almost vertical.
Disconnecting Arms

Many players begin the swing by pushing the hands out toward the ball and moving the left arm away from the body. As the handle moves out the club head moves inward, getting it inside and behind. The rest of the backswing is similar to the previous move.

The fix here is to keep your left arm connected to your left chest and moving across as the swing progresses. Visualize your hands tracking back with your body rotation, rather than moving out.
Picking the Club Up

If all you use to begin the takeaway are hands and arms, you will surely pick it up and chop it back down. The golf swing is a synchronized blend of club, hands, arms, and body movements, and they need to start together. If you are a picker, make sure the core begins to rotate as the club is put in motion by your hands and arms.

Club Head Starts Outside

The opposite of rolling the hands, this is often the result of trying for maximum extension or an overdone one-piece takeaway. Once your club is outside and above the plane, it must loop back under to get back on plane.

Lee Trevino perfected this move, and Jim Furyk is pretty good at it as well. But it is not something the average player can do consistently. Eliminate the exaggeration and work the club head back and up your plane line.

Standing Upright

Too many golfers stand too upright at address. Instead, their spine should be bent forward from the hip sockets until their arms hang freely. Players should also tilt their spine from 3-to-9 degrees on their trailside. This defines the starting move and helps you reach the 90-degree rotation needed for your upper trunk at the top of your backswing.

Two things derive from this trailside tilt: 1. it lowers your trail hand so that you can easily grip the club without stretching your trail arm or shortening your target arm. That way, you will not be inclined to move your trail shoulder, so that it points out towards your target; 2. It also puts your torso in a proper position to begin your swing.

A Bad Stance

The position you want to achieve at address is the well-known “railroad track” in which your feet, hips and shoulders form a line parallel to the target. That parallel line must be directed to the side of your actual target.

Most golfers do not achieve this setup and otherwise find themselves in poor address positions. That is because they step into the ball with their eyes on their feet or on the ball and the club. The end result is they mistakenly step toward the target, which forces them into a closed position at address.

Imagine when looking down the line of flight while stepping into your address position that your focus is keyed on a large tree left of the target. Now, draw an imaginary line from that tree back to your feet/hips/shoulders, so that they are parallel to your target line.

When hitting a short iron, align your feet/hips/shoulders directly to the tree. With middle irons, the alignment is a little to the side of the tree. For a driver, the alignment is farther to the side to allow for the optical illusion that makes your target appear smaller.

Here are some things to keep in mind when addressing the ball:

  • Widen your stance when using a driver, so that the width measured from the center of your feet is equal to the outside of your shoulders. The width becomes proportionately less and less as the club gets shorter. That way, your ankles are under your shoulder joints.
  • Close your stance a little, with your trail foot pulled back a little more from the target line than your target foot. This is important, especially if you lack flexibility. You can do this with all clubs, even your wedge. It makes the rotation of the upper trunk to 90 degrees that much easier.
  • The base of your sternum (center of your chest) should be pointing directly at the ball, so that your trail arm moves most effectively and stays below the target arm at the start of the swing and until it folds.
  • Golf is a stability sport. Distribute your weight from the balls of your feet to your heels, but not to your toes.
  • Golfers tend to stand with knees that are too straight. Be sure there is some flex in your knees, so you can use your joints properly. In essence, sit back with your hips out behind you in a skeletally balanced position.

 

 Skulling or Topping the Ball

When you skull the ball, your club is coming over the top of it and you will end up hitting it “fat”.  It won’t go very far, if at all, and you’re likely to be a little embarrassed at your mistake.  Don’t worry; a lot of inexperienced golfers top the ball.  There is a fix for it as well.

Put your weight in the middle, the golf handle left, weight on your left side, swing the arms up and swing the arms down in the downswing.  Up/down makes the golf ball go up.

Hitting the ball fat is caused by the club being too vertical. If you go too vertical, you’ll wind up chopping the floor.

After you get all set up, make sure you’re not leaning too far over on the left side. A little weight on your left side is alright, but the trick is to swing the golf club up on the inside. And that will give the golf club a little better angle into the back of the ball.

Be sure that you are looking at the ball and that you don’t rise up before you make contact.  Standing up on the ball prior to the swing is the number one reason for skulling the ball.

Many beginners are eager to see where their ball is going after it is hit, but they look too soon and take their eyes off of the ball.  This can also cause you to top the ball, so be sure to look at that little white ball until you hear it whooshing through the air.  Then you can watch it land beautifully.

Chipping Problems

When you are chipping, a common problem that many golfers face is restricting your swing while chipping, not getting enough loft, or easing into the ball.  To cure this, you should shorten the stroke instead of restricting your swing and don’t ease into the ball.

Make a short backstroke and use a less lofted club if you feel the need restrict your backswing. Make a long follow through to allow for the necessary acceleration. Divots are not necessary, so hit down and through so you strike the ball with a slightly descending blow. You are likely playing the ball too far forward if you do not hear a click when chipping. The ball should be positioned just before the bottom part of your stroke.

Reaching out at the ball during address and impact, a player’s arms are almost at a 45-degree angle from the ground. It takes too much effort to hold your arms out at address and therefore it’s even harder to get back to that position at impact.

 

To fix this problem, refer to the posture where the arms just hang in the natural position. If you feel like your hands are too close to the body then make the adjustment and kick out your rear end a little (check your weight distribution). The distance between your zipper and your grip should be around four knuckles.

 

Find a picture of a professional golfer and by using a straight edge notice how their eyes are over the shaft (approximately over the shaft label).You may have to bow more to get to that position

Another big mistake is made when referring to ball position.  Some players believe they need to change the position of the ball based on what club they are using. If the ball is played too far back in the stance, your shoulders will aim right and you will start the back swing from the inside and probably come over the top at impact (slice or pull). If the ball is too far forward, your shoulder will be aiming left and you will take the club more on the outside and loop under coming down resulting in a block or a hook.

 

To fix this problem, the ball position should be played one ball forward of center for short to mid-irons, two balls left of center with long irons and fairway woods, three balls left of center with the driver. This may vary a little based on your swing arch.

 

Here’s a drill to help you with this problem.  Take your swing with the proper stance and posture and see where your club hits the ground. You should notice that it’s very close to the left center. If you are hitting the ground way before the ball, there’s a good chance you are not pivoting your hips or coming out of your stance.

So those are some of the more common mistakes made by golfers.  Even if you’ve been golfing for years, you can still fall prey to these mistakes.  Knowing how to fix them can be a great addition to your game and will eventually shave strokes off your score.

There are some shots in golf that will require some finesse in getting out of without amassing your score to new proportions.  Let’s look at a few trouble shots and get some advice on how to overcome them.

TROUBLE SHOTS

Because golf is such a complicated – yet easy – game, you may find yourself in some situations that seem impossible to get out of.  We call these trouble shots.  They can be frustrating and can add to your score in record proportions.  Here are some trouble shots we’ve encountered and ways that you can approach them.

Deep Rough

Long grass has the effect of closing the face of the club and decreasing the loft of the club. For this reason, the player should use a more lofted club than if the ball were in the fairway. If a player has a long distance left, the first consideration should be getting the ball out of the rough. Use of lofted fairway woods #5, #6, #7 is advisable in this situation.

The long grass will decrease the loft of these clubs and the ball will actually go the distance of the less lofted fairway woods. Around the green, the player must again use a more lofted club. These types of shots are custom made for a wedge or a 9-iron. The effect of the long green will once again decrease the loft of the club. The ball will therefore fly lower and run more than if it were in the fairway. Remember; allow the loft of the club to lift the ball out of the rough!

Side hill, Downhill, and Uphill Lies

Nothing can be more frustrating than having a golf shot on a slanted surface.  The way many golf courses are laid out, you will probably have to deal with a lie like this at some point in your game.  But you can deal with hilly lies with no problems and a little advice.

Take a practice swing and note where the club is striking the ground. If the club is striking the ground nearer the back foot, move the ball back in your stance; if the club is striking the ground nearer the front foot, move the ball forward in your stance. This system is the most accurate system to determine where the ball should be placed in the stance. Seldom does a player have a purely side hill or uphill lie. This system takes all the factors into account as the practice swing is the forerunner to the actual shot.

The general rule of thumb is to position the ball in the stance nearer the higher foot on the downhill lies, and about center on the uphill lies. On side hill lies, position the ball left center (as you normally would). If the ball is above your feet on the side hill lie, you will normally hit the ball straight or pull it to the left. If the ball is below your feet, most players will actually pull the ball to the left because their leg action will slow down as they try to maintain their balance.

You will want to have a longer club than you would usually use for an uphill shot (a 4 instead of a 5).  Choke down on the club and put more flex in your left knee (if you are right handed).  Much of your weight should be on your front leg. Remember that the ball will generally go to the left, so aim to the right of the target.  Position the ball slightly ahead of center and swing in a slow deliberate way maintaining your balance.

For downhill lies, you will want a shorter club than you would normally use (a 6 instead of a 5).  The ball will go right, so aim to the left of the target.  Position the ball so that it is back in your stance.  Put most of your weight again on the forward foot. Have some flex in your right knee and then swing slowly and deliberately maintaining your balance.

Side hill shots are probably some of the worst in golf.  If you are faced with a side hill shot where the ball is below your feet, you will need a longer club than you would usually use.  Set up closer to the ball when you address it and increase the flex in both of your knees.  The ball will go to the right, so aim left of the target and, again, maintain your balance with a slow, deliberate backswing.

When the ball is above your feet on a side hill shot, the stance is slightly different.  You will still want a longer club than usual, but you will choke down on the shaft.  Stand more upright and put more weight on your toes.  The ball will go left, so aim right of the target and maintain a slow and deliberate backswing as you should be doing in all hill shots.

Restricted Back Swing

There are times when you will have a shot that will restrict your back swing.  Let’s say that your ball ends up next to a tree.  You won’t be able to take a normal back swing because the tree is in the way.  You will have to make some modifications in order to get yourself out of this trouble shot.  Luckily, it’s not as difficult as you might think.

First position yourself so that you can get to the ball and still aim at your target.  Practice a couple of backswings to see how far you can take the club back without bringing the tree into play.  Then keep that distance first and foremost in your mind.  You will need to cock your wrists and keep them cocked throughout whatever backswing you will be able to muster up.

Make a normal down swing, knowing that the club has room to miss the tree trunk and you will advance the ball into scoring position.  The idea here is to just get away from the tree completely so you’re not worrying about distance or even accuracy for that matter.  All you want to do is get the ball back in the fairway so you can save your score.

Hitting Out of Water

The main rule of thumb when you have a ball in water is to just let it be and not try to hit out of it.  However, if it truly is playable in shallow water, you may want to go ahead and try to hit it out and save yourself a stroke.

The key here is to play this ball like a buried sand lie with a nine iron which will not bounce off the water like a wedge will.  Use a cut shot allowing the blade to slice through the water at an oblique angle and be sure to follow through on your swing.

In other words, you will want your backswing to be more outside of the normal line and then come back in across your line with the blade of the club open.  Keep your hands still in the swing as you won’t want them to release and rotate.  You may just find yourself back in the water if this happens.

Punch Shot

A punch shot is used when you need to navigate under tree limbs and other low-lying obstacles.  You will use a punch shot when you need to keep the ball low but still get some distance on your swing.  A punch shot is also used to get your ball out of trouble and into the fairway.  So how do you execute a good punch shot?

You can use almost any iron to execute a punch shot, but generally, a lower lofted club will work best.  Begin by choking down on the shaft and place the ball further back in your stance.  Seventy percent of your weight should go mostly on your left foot if you are a right handed golfer – the opposite for you lefties.

Your backswing will be about ¾ of your regular backswing.  Bring the club back making sure you keep your head down throughout almost the entire swing because making good contact in this situation is extremely important.   Take the club back low and then finish low.  What that means is that you won’t have a normal follow-through as if you were hitting out of the fairway.  But you do have to follow through.

The punch shot is easy to curve in one direction or another because you are generally using a lower lofted iron and they tend to exaggerate the angle of that loft.  This shot is great for getting yourself out of a sticky situation involving natural hazards on the golf course.

The Flop Shot

A flop shot is a high shot that travels a short distance and is used to get over objects such as trees.  It is designed to sail high and clear these objects easily.  If you are unable to hit a punch shot and your only option on a hole is to navigate the tree, you will want to use a flop shot.  It will sail high in the air and land softly on the green with little or no forward spin.

You can also use a flop shot if you have a pin that is tucked tight – or there isn’t much green in between your ball and the pin.  In this situation, you will need to get the ball up in the air quickly and land softly.

For a good flop shot, you will generally use a sand wedge or a lob wedge.  The ball is played more forward in your stance and you will open the club face wide and choke down on the club.  The club will be taken back using your wrists more than anything.

Cock your wrists quickly in the backswing and during the down swing, you will release your wrists quickly.  Your wrists will also cock in the follow-through.  Essentially, this is a fast swing that requires you to abandon natural form to get the desired results.

Playing Into the Wind

Another of those trouble shots is dealing with the wind. Many players advise teeing up the ball lower for a drive into the wind.

For average golfers it is better to tee the ball as normal and hit as solid a shot as you can make. The wind will exaggerate any side spin put on the ball at impact. This shot demands a solid hit with a nice even tempo.

Teeing the ball low will tend to produce a downward blow rather than a sweep through, thus producing more spin.

Another problem with the wind is club selection. If you find yourself a wedge distance from the green facing a headwind, try punching a 9 iron instead.  Less loft means greater control. Stopping it will be no problem.

Our final chapter will be about a very important part of the golf game that many people just take for granted – stretching before your game.

STRETCHING FOR GOOD GOLF

        The importance of stretching for your golf game cannot be stressed enough.  Because a good golf swing requires that your body be in a relaxed, tension-free state, you will want to release some of that tension before you ever pick up a golf club.

The good news is that these stretching exercises are easy and only take a few minutes.  That means you can effectively stretch right before you start your round.

For the first exercise, take your driver and place it across your shoulders.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Wrap your arms around the club at either end.  Bend slightly back stretching your back muscles.  Bend side to side so that you loosen up your side muscles and shoulders.  Bend forward to extend your back.

Next, perform a partial squat with your golf club in hand.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place the club in front of you holding with both hands for balance.  Lower your body by bending at the knees, not the hips, and raise the club at the same time.  Raise back up and repeat ten times.  During this whole stretch, you need to keep your upper body very erect.

This exercise will increase your blood flow and circulation throughout your body.  This is a great total body warm up to allow your body to make a relaxed, comfortable first swing.  It also increases the range of motion in your hip which encourages a more synchronized swing from the ground up.

Finally, you can do a standing rotation twist stretch.  Hold a golf club chest high with the grip at shoulder width apart.  While keeping your feet and hips fairly stable, rotate the club to the right and the left.  Try to breathe out on every turn to release tension.  Repeat each side ten times.

By doing this stretch, you will be preparing specific muscles of the trunk to make an aggressive move from the first tee on.  This also prepares proper sequencing of the swing while warming muscles.  This exercise will improve body movements during the swing from the beginning.  This way you will not sacrifice strokes on the first couple of holes.

CONCLUSION

        We don’t agree with Mark Twain that golf is a good walk wasted.  It’s a wonderful way to get out in the fresh air, enjoy nature, and have a little playful competition with your friends.  You can get some great exercise on the golf course without straining your body which makes this sport ideal for any age group to participate in.

We do, however, agree that golf can be a very frustrating sport and one that requires a good mental state of mind as well as an attention to the body and how the golf swing works.  It can be overwhelming – especially for the beginning golfer.

It is a great way to make new friends and business executives agree that the golf course is a wonderful place to make business deals and connections.

In order to make the golf game fun, you’ll want to score well.  With the tips we’ve offered you in this book, we think you’ll be able to take strokes off your score when you employ the techniques we have outlined.

But nothing is quite as good for your golf game as practice. The more you play, the better you’ll get.  Practice on the course, practice on the driving range, practice in your backyard.  Any time you can emulate swinging a club, you will start to learn about what will work and what won’t when you get on the course.

Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself when you get on the links.  It’s nearly impossible to perfect the game and you’ll have your share of problems – it’s almost guaranteed.  That’s why I think this quote can truly sum up the game of golf in the best way.

“Golf is so popular simply because

it is the best game in the world at which to be bad”

        See you on the links!

 

 

How to Get Ex back

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When I was a child, I had a vivid image of my mom and dad as being a single parental unit.  I saw them as a united “parental mind”, if you will.  I never thought of them as having lives apart from each other before they were married.  They were “always married” as far as my seven-year old mind could conceive.

 

That being the case, they naturally (or so I thought) viewed everything the same way – from what to eat for supper to how to discipline my brothers and I.

 

So when on one Sunday Dad didn’t go to church with us, and Mom drove a slightly different route than he did to get there, I was concerned.  Very concerned.  Just what was going on here?  Could it be that this single parental unit really consisted of two unique individuals working together to create one household?

 

As I grew older, I observed my parents’ differences on several other matters.  This always fascinated me.  My young mind couldn’t grasp that they were, indeed, two individual personalities working toward one common goal: the maintenance of our family.

 

The Core of a Marriage

 

Here at a young age, I recognized and identified the fundamental underlying purpose of a marriage: establishment and cultivation of a household. (I was a cleverly insightful child, now wasn’t I?).

 

When one of the spouses in the relationship isn’t working toward this common goal, discord and dissatisfaction can’t be far behind.

 

Unfortunately for far too many couples, one or both partners are focused more on their career, their own needs, or any number of issues other than family and the household.

 

Now, pursuing a career or individual needs isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, it is absolutely necessary to keep a marriage healthy.

 

A spouse who is career oriented, for example, is probably contributing substantially to the financial stability and long-term good of his or her family.  It’s when the focus of the career is so intense and overriding that the spouse ignores the needs of the rest of the family members, that problems surface.

 

Talk About “MIA!”

 

Consider the case of a married couple John Guttmann, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and a marriage expert, met through his research.  The husband was a doctor who founded his own small pediatric hospital.

 

He poured his heart and soul into this endeavor, to the exclusion of all else.  He spent a minimum of 20 nights a month staying all night at the hospital. (That just about equates to every weekday of the month!).

 

But that’s not all, the man became disconnected from his family.  So much so, that he couldn’t tell researchers where the back door of his house was.  And even worse, he didn’t even know the name of the family dog.

 

Granted this is an extreme example of a spouse “missing in action,” but it is indicative of a growing trend in the United States.  More marriages than ever before are between husbands and wives who both work outside of the home.  This makes creating a successful marriage more difficult than in the past — but not impossible.

 

“Easy Come, Easy Go”

Increasing Divorce Rates

It’s not surprising then that the nationwide divorce rate is steadily climbing.  Current odds, sadly, are stacked against a marriage’s longevity.  The chance that a first marriage ends in divorce before it reaches its 40th anniversary is 67 percent.

 

You’ve no doubt heard of the “Seven-year itch” in marriages?  It’s more than just an urban legend.  Half of all first marriages end in divorce by the time they hit the seven-year anniversary.

 

The truly sad aspect of this is that nothing is apparently learned from the first marriage to the second.  You may expect the divorce rates for second marriages to fall.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead the rate of divorce for second marriages is actually 10 percent higher than for first time marriages.

 

Of course, the stress of two income households and the ease with which couples seem to “grow apart” are only two reasons for the climb in statistics.

 

Society has knocked down many barriers to divorce in recent decades.  It’s no longer considered the stigma it once was. Today, “no-fault” divorces can be obtained in nearly all parts of the country.  This means that only one of the partners needs to desire the divorce for it to occur.

 

Of course, this is an important advance — and quite necessary — for any individual who is caught in an abusive marriage.

 

Marriage:

The Vanishing Institution

 

But it also means that many individuals find it far too easy to just walk away from a relationship that may have potential for saving.

 

But that’s not the only harbinger of change on the American landscape regarding relationships. It seems more people than ever before are sidestepping the need for a divorce. How? By avoiding the Number One cause of divorce in the first place: marriage!

 

Perhaps this sounds silly, but it’s very true.  Years ago, 95 percent of Americans got married.  Predictions are that only 85 percent of us will enter into a marriage these days.

 

Choosing Marriage

Over Divorce

 

Perhaps you’re in the midst of a less than happy, fulfilling relationship right now.  You certainly can choose divorce. After all, it’s the easiest choice in many ways.  But you’d rather stay married (yes, to the person with whom you’re currently married to, in fact) rather than suffer the ultimate heartbreak of divorce.

 

This book will help you do exactly that.  It offers you seven of the most effective secrets that not merely avoid divorce, but create a loving lasting relationship in the process.

 

Hopefully by the time you’ve implemented some or all of the seven secrets, you won’t be signing those divorce papers, you’ll be renewing your vows in a recommitment wedding ceremony!

 

 

Chapter

1

 

How Did We Get Here?

On the Brink of Divorce

 

The relationship between health and a happy marriage.

The four core strategies couples use that move them closer to the cliff of divorce.

 

 

“It’s a long way down.”

“Yeah. It is.”

“Why don’t you jump first?”

“Me? Do you think I’m that crazy?”

 

John and Melinda stared down again.  They were standing at the edge of a cliff; the wind whipping around them.  The rain pelted down on them, causing their bodies to shiver violently.

 

A long period of silence followed as they both surveyed the depths of the canyon below. Finally, John spoke.  “Maybe we should rethink this whole divorce thing.”

 

Melinda immediately replied, “You might be right.  Maybe we should.  Why don’t we go back to the house, make some hot chocolate, start a fire in the fireplace and try to work this out?”

 

The couple turned around, instinctively held hands, and returned home.

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if making the commitment for a divorce came with a scene similar to that?  Imagine how many couples would think twice before they slammed the door on their marriage forever.

 

All too often divorce proceedings are started in the heat of a battle — and it doesn’t have to be a battle over any large issue.  In these instances, that’s a shame.  The couples may never realize just how close they were to saving their marriage.

 

You’d be amazed at how many couples simply take their marriage for granted, like a flower planted in a garden but never nourished, watered or weeded.  Instead of it growing strong, it withers or gets choked out by other surrounding more aggressive needs.  Both partners are left wondering what went wrong.

 

Then again, maybe you wouldn’t be amazed.  Does this sound like the route your marriage took?

 

Marriage and Health:

The Little-Known Connection

 

A good marriage, by the way, is more than just the creation of a happy home.  It appears that it’s also the cornerstone of good health – at least that’s what recent research is telling us.

 

If you’re involved in a less than satisfying marriage it can actually increase your odds of falling ill by approximately 35 percent.  Not only that, but it also has the potential to shorten your life span by as many as four years!

 

This is just a portion of the results revealed in a series of studies conducted by Lois Verbrugge and James House of the University of Michigan.  On the other side of the coin, a happy, satisfying marriage, not only creates more fulfilling lives for the two involved, but it creates longer lives as well.

 

Why?  Scientists can’t prove any one reason over another, but they do present some convincing commonsense arguments based on our current knowledge of the functioning of our bodies.

 

If you’re currently experiencing a rocky marriage — standing on the precipice of divorce — then you already know how stressful a life this can be.  And we now know that emotional stress can easily manifest itself as physical stress.

 

This, in turn, can increase your risk for any number of physical ailments, including high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name just two of the more obvious ones.

 

But stress can also translate itself as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and, in some cases, various forms of violence.

 

Happier Marriages

Translate Into Healthier Spouses

 

It isn’t surprising to learn, then, that couples who are happily married experience a lower rate of all these health ailments.  But that’s not all.  They are also more health conscious in general.

 

Researchers believe this may be due to the fact that loving partners ensure the other receives regular medical checkups, take their medicine and vitamins, and eat nutritiously — among other important health reminders and concerns.

 

In fact, recent research indicates that the benefits may go one giant step farther.  A good marriage may actually boost your natural immune system, which keeps your defenses against illness in top-notch fighting form.

 

But We Are

Looking At Divorce

 

You say even with all the health benefits to staying married, divorce is staring you and your spouse in the eye every day.  Just how did this happen, you ask?

 

You got to the edge of that cliff by practicing destructive behavior. They could be any types of behavior, depending on the chemistry between you and your spouse. But, for the most part these actions fall under four, large umbrella categories, according to researchers.  They are:

 

  • Raising the stakes of your specific argument with your spouse.
  • Discrediting your partner’s feelings.
  • Withdrawing from arguments and avoiding problems and issues.
  • Interpreting comments in the worst possible light.

 

Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these strategies to see how many of these you and your spouse have unwittingly practiced.

 

War of the Words:

Raising The Stakes

 

You’ve probably performed this destructive behavior without even realizing it.  Most of us have at some point in our marriages.  Raising the stakes of an argument occurs as the partners respond to one another’s negative comments.

 

It’s difficult to say whether it’s done intentionally or just as a reflex action.  But why it’s done really doesn’t matter.  The fact remains that once the words are spoken they’re impossible to take back.

 

And soon you’ll see a small argument — as small as the issue of the proverbial cap on the toothpaste — being raised to an issue of packing your bags and leaving forever.

 

The pair continually ups the ante as if their marriage were some poker game spiraling wildly out of control.  Each of you flings the negative comments fiercely at each other.

 

One partner will criticize some action, the next thing you know the other is saying, “If you’re not happy here, why not just leave.”  This brings the inevitable, “Well, maybe I just will.”

 

And you can imagine the response to that! (And usually it isn’t good!)

 

Moving From Hurtful

To Destructive

 

These actions just don’t increase the intensity of the argument. It transforms simple anger into hurtful, often destructive comments.

 

In these heated moments, spouses say things — sometimes lots of things — that are extremely damaging to the other. While all couples have disagreements, it’s when you allow the small arguments to escalate into larger, more hurtful exchanges that very often damage your relationship.

 

The damage goes deep enough at times to mortally wound your marriage.  We all know that reckless driving can get you a traffic ticket — at the very minimum.  It’s a shame someone can’t stop to ticket us as we escalate toward “reckless arguing.”

 

Another Approach

To Raising The Stakes

 

Very often one spouse has learned about a fear or concern burned deep into the other’s psyche.  He or she then uses this issue as an instrument to hurt him in the heat of the argument.  This too falls under the category of “reckless arguing.”

 

Escalation can be derailed, though.  Many couples that find their arguments getting out of control simply apologize for the situation.  In the long run, it’s better to enjoy a sound loving union than to be proven right on one small, non-consequential issue.

 

A Splash of Humor

 

Don’t think that you’re showing weakness by being the person who stamps out the fuse on the stick of dynamite between the two of you.  In the long term, it’s the best move you can make.

 

I know one couple that has been married for more than 60 years.  He’s 94.  She’s 87.  During my visits with them, I’ve witnessed more than my share of arguments between them.  But each one usually ends the same way — with humor.

 

Just when I think the disagreement is about to end in some explosive fury, one or another says something funny concerning the incident.  The other laughs, then they both allow the tension to pass and the argument dies a natural, non-damaging death.

 

It’s a wonderful tool they have developed over the years.  It certainly appears to work for them.

 

Put Downs:

Discrediting The Feelings

of Your Spouse

No one likes to be told that his feelings or opinions are worthless.  Very often though, married couples do just that when they argue.

 

At times, it’s done on purpose, with a contempt that’s meant to wound the partner.  However, far too often, this behavior is performed almost unconsciously.  Sometimes one partner fails to realize the importance of his spouse’s reaction to any given situation.

 

“I think you’re taking this (fill in the blank) more seriously than you should.”  In that instant, the spouse’s feelings have been invalidated.

 

Unfortunately, this hurts.  It may even create a damaging rift in the union.  You need to acknowledge your spouse’s feelings as valid.  You don’t have to agree with them, but you do need to try to understand that’s how he or she is feeling at the moment.

 

Once you do this, then you can move on to dealing with them.  But by simply dismissing them you’re dismissing a vital concern to your partner.

 

“You Can’t Catch Me!”

Withdrawal and Avoidance

I know one couple whose arguments always end with the husband running out of the house.  He heads for his car and drives around for several hours. Or he visits a buddy and returns in the middle of the night.  This is an extreme example of withdrawal.

 

Very often a spouse simply leaves the room in the midst of an argument.  Sometimes, though, withdrawal can display itself with one of the participants pronouncing the end of the conversation with an authoritative, “Discussion closed” or “I don’t wish to discuss this anymore.”  And there’s no budging him into talking again.

 

The person who withdraws usually gets quiet during the argument.  In some cases he or she may even agree hastily to a suggestion for resolution — any suggestion, in fact, — in order to put the conversation to rest.  Usually he has no intention of actually following through with the suggestion.

 

The Accompanying Technique:

Avoidance

 

The technique of avoidance — which goes hand-in-hand with this — is a way of dealing with reluctance to continue the discussion.  For the most part, the individual practicing this doesn’t want to start the conversation in the first place.  If he can’t avoid the discussion, then he or she may resort to the withdrawal practice.

 

This behavior is actually fairly common in couples that are struggling with different issues.  One of the spouses pursues the issue, and the other tries to avoid or withdraw from it.

 

Is this something you and your mate are experiencing?  It’s something that really shouldn’t be ignored.  As you might imagine, the more the “pursuer” pushes to discuss the topic, the more the other tries to avoid and then withdraw.

 

It eventually becomes a “tug of war” escalating as the pursuer responds — pulling that proverbial rope ever harder.  The other then pulls back, trying to reel him in.  And we all know what happens in a tug of war.  One side eventually falls — and hard!

 

Interpretation Gone Wild

 

Negative interpretations occur when one of the spouses is convinced that the motives of the other are less than positive.  This can be an extremely dangerous pattern to develop.  It makes any disagreement more difficult to handle.

 

If a person believes in his negative interpretation strongly enough, then there’s no convincing him or her of anything different.

 

As the relationship disintegrates, this particular practice tends to escalate.  What this does, it only adds to the feelings of hopelessness and demoralization.

 

The biggest problem with this technique is the difficulty in detecting it.  If it’s difficult to discover, it’s hard to counteract or repair.  Such views become — almost seamlessly — part of the fabric of the union itself.

 

Why?  It’s due to the human nature’s tendency to accept “confirmation bias.”  All this means is that we have a habit of searching out evidence that agrees with what we already think about a particular situation or person.  (You see this being carried out every day in the political arena!)

 

A Habit

Not Easy To Change

 

This means that it’s not easy to change an already-formed negative bias.  But that’s really only part of the problem.  As you might imagine, when one partner clings to these negative thoughts, the other is more likely to respond with hostility.

 

You can think of negative interpretation as mind reading gone wild.  One partner truly believes that he or she knows what the other is thinking or knows the ulterior motives behind his actions and behaviors. Now, you’re treading some seriously dangerous ground here!

 

Of course, some individuals like to read the other’s mind in a positive light.  Obviously, this causes no harm to the relationship and in the long term, probably even benefits it.

 

If you or your mate are playing mind reader gone berserk that happens to include a negative viewpoint, your marriage maybe slowly sliding towards trouble.

 

As you become accustomed to routinely thinking the worst of your spouse’s motives and words, you may also discover yourself slipping into another less-than-healthy habit.  You’ll find it much easier to justify wounding him or her emotionally.  You may even discover you want to seek revenge.

 

It may seem as if revenge is a harsh word to use — and an extreme reaction to take.  And in reality, it really is.  But this is exactly what happens in many marriages as they slide toward the brink of divorce.

 

Help I Want To Get Off!

Stopping The Negative Cycle

 

Ahh! Once the circle of negativity starts, it can be a difficult habit to break. “Negative interpretations are like weeds with really long roots,” according to Howard J. Markman, in his book, “Fighting for your Marriage”.

 

“You have to get a good hold of the roots and yank away to rid your relationship of such perceptions,” he says.

 

It’s difficult, Markman elaborates, because changing your view requires you to look within yourself and do some personal digging — soul searching if you will.  You need to confront the way you’re thinking.

 

The First Step

May Be The Most Difficult

 

The first step in overcoming this habit is, at the very least, being open to the possibility that your less-than-ideal take on the situation may, in fact, be wrong.

 

Then you need to search for evidence that contradicts your negative perceptions.  This isn’t easy.  No one likes to prove themself wrong.

 

Let’s say you’re convinced, for example, your spouse is uncaring.  You need, then, to look for instances and occasions when he or she displayed a caring attitude toward you. Not only that, but you need to reconsider other people’s opinions as well.

 

Perhaps someone has commented about the nice things your spouse has done for you in the past.  Instead of dismissing this comment, place it in your growing file of evidence of positive actions.  I told you this isn’t that easy to do.

 

But you’ll discover soon enough that it is worth it.

 

Now What Do We Do?

 

Now that you have some idea of how your marriage may have gotten to the point of teetering on divorce, it’s time to take a look at how to start moving it back to solid ground. More often than not, the couple really wants to repair the damage.

 

But they stand completely still guessing what their next move should be.  Some couples are lucky enough to find it.  Others end up divorcing simply because they can’t move on to their next productive step.

 

The following chapter gives you a few clues on how to start implementing the seven secrets of saving your marriage.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to start.

 

Chapter

 2

Making the 7 Secrets Work For You

 

This chapter presents four workable ways to start implementing the seven secrets in your relationship.

 

 

“Where do I begin?” Melinda whispered.  “It all seems so hopeless.”  Her friend, Joan, studied the young woman.  Clearly sadness was written all over her face.

 

Melinda continued.  “I can’t get John to cooperate with anything that might even remotely save our marriage.”  A long silence followed.  Finally, Joan spoke.

 

“I don’t usually offer advice.  But let me just tell you what I did when Mark and I were on the brink of breaking up.  He didn’t want anything to do with working toward repairing our marriage.  So I just worked around him . . .”

 

Sad to say that in many instances, one or another of the spouses refuses to agree to get help.  This leaves the other believing that all hope for reconciliation is lost. But, in reality, that’s far from the truth.

 

What many partners don’t realize is the amount of change you can affect by working independently towards a more loving union.

 

This chapter offers four strategies to help you implement the seven secrets of getting you on the road to a healthier, happier marriage — even if it feels as if you’re working at it alone!

 

 

Success Approach #1:

Don’t be afraid to start without the aid of your spouse!

What? You ask. How could you possibly start saving a marriage without the cooperation of your partner?  I realize this suggestion may seem counterintuitive to everything you’re trying to accomplish.

 

Some of the secrets offered in this book are of a passive nature.  That means you can implement them without your mate knowing what you’re doing.

 

And no, this isn’t a dirty or a subversive approach.  It’s just a unilateral attempt to develop a better relationship.  I see the puzzled look on your face.  Think back for a moment to the last chapter in which we discussed putting a negative spin on everything your spouse says.

 

Why Not A

Positive Spin?

 

Do you do that?  Maybe he does.  Do either of you need the other to create such thoughts?  No.  This approach is very similar to the “negative spin” method of thinking.  Only it works toward building the relationship stronger, not destroying it.

 

Let’s just say for the sake of an example, you tend to see the negative in everything he says.  Start to repair your marriage with your next argument (now there’s an oxymoron!).  Simply refuse to view his words in the negative light you’ve held them previously.  After all, you are really the only person in control of your thoughts.

 

Instead of reflexively reaching for the worst possible meaning hidden between the lines, refuse to look at them that way.  In fact, why not go one step further? Try to view them in a positive light.

 

Then after that, sit down to make a list of all the instances in which he talked positively about you or commented in a positive manner.  It doesn’t matter how large or small the issue was.  Go ahead.  Write it down.

 

Yes, this does take time, effort, work, determination and will power — especially if you plan on doing this consistently.  But your marriage is well worth it.

 

Where to Start?

 

There are several secrets listed in the following chapters that don’t require your spouse’s participation. These you can start working on anytime.  No one but you really needs to know.

 

If he or she has been stubbornly refusing any help working issues out, implement these secrets first.  You may consider, initially, a few of them to be simplistic approaches to a complex problem, but they all can work if you take your approach seriously.  And your spouse needn’t know what you’re doing.

 

Very often it only takes one person to change his or her behavior. Before you realize it, the other is responding in kind.  Commit yourself to practicing one of the secrets every day.  It doesn’t matter which one.  The important thing is that you continue to work — from your end — on your marriage.

 

Success Approach #2:

Practice These Secrets Daily!

 

You can’t expect any type of results by pursuing a better relationship only occasionally.  I’m not going to kid you.  Repairing a marriage takes some time.  It also requires consistency on your part.

 

Think back to how long you’ve been married.  The issues currently plaguing your relationship didn’t start overnight.  Don’t expect them to be resolved in one swift motion.  It takes, without a doubt, some dedication and time.

 

There will be times, no doubt, that you’ll be tempted to quit.  But don’t.  Instead of giving in to the feeling of hopelessness, gather your strength.  Take stock of any positive feedback you’ve discovered.  List all the ways your marriage is getting better.

 

I’d like to share this bit of research with you.  It comes from noted marriage researcher John M. Gottman, Ph.D.  His research indicates that the most successful couples are not necessarily those who quickly overhaul their marriage.

 

He did follow-up studies with couples that had been through his counseling sessions.  He specifically wanted to know what made one union last and the other didn’t.  His results came as quite a surprise to him.

 

Those couples whose marriage improved spent only an average of five hours a week on the topic. Less than one hour everyday, seven days a week. Imagine that!

 

What were they doing?  For the most part, all these couples shared several concerted actions.

 

The Morning Goodbye Ritual

 

And the first one is what I call the “Morning Good-bye Ritual.”  Before either of them left for work that day, they deliberately took the time to discover at least one event in the other’s day.  A big meeting with the boss?  A doctor’s appointment?  Or something as simple as a shared cappuccino with an old friend.

 

One couple I know deliberately rises a little earlier in the morning to be able to talk while the children are still in bed.  Neither is concerned with the kids running around at this time of the morning.  It keeps them connected.

 

They use this time not only to discover what’s going on in the other’s “world”, but they also discussed all the world’s political and economic problems during this time.  It made them feel more like adults and less like only parents!

 

The Evening Wrap Up

 

Similarly, these couples came home at night — or talked in some form — and exchanged views about their day.  It became a tremendous method of reducing any stress that had accumulated on them throughout the day.

 

The beauty of this is that this can be done whether the two of you have a conventional marriage, in which you are both in the same physical house together or a marriage in which one spouse travels quite a bit.

 

This Works Even When

One Spouse Is Out of Town

 

Even when your partner is traveling for work, you can start your day by telephoning him before he leaves his hotel room.  Discover what events confront him today.

 

And some time toward the end of the day, do the same.  Reconnect by phone.  Find out how his day actually did go.  Does he or she need to vent some?  Allow them this luxury.  By the same token, keep the traveling partner up to date on what’s going on at home.

 

This is extremely important if you have children.  Be sure to tell the spouse who’s away how the children are doing in school. Talk about any upcoming plans.

 

And be sure to ask his or her opinion on any decisions you’re considering with the children.  This allows the spouse to feel more connected and still a part of the family, even though he or she may be hundreds of miles away.

 

Mutual Admiration —

And Appreciation — Club

 

Another technique each of these successful couples employed is simple admiration and appreciation.  Each of these couples took the time — on a daily basis — to express both appreciation and admiration of their mate.  What a wonderful habit to develop!

 

And the last ritual these successful couples shared was a weekly date. Each week they would go out together — no kids! — and just talk about their lives.  Sometimes the conversation may seem mundane to outsiders.  “Are you still planning on redecorating the bedroom?”  “Has your boss lightened up on you at all?”

 

Some couples, though, used this time to work constructively on issues in their marriage.  However you use this date night, make sure it works at keeping the lines of communication open between the two of you.

 

If you have even a couple good moments together, then the possibility exists that you can have more.  And remember it doesn’t necessarily take a full-fledge daily assault on the problems to be able to say you’re honestly making progress.  This research is proof of that!

 

Success Approach #3:

Don’t Worry About the Occasional Setback!

You’re bound to have a setback or two along the road to restoring your union.  Whatever you do, don’t take these incidents as a signal that all is lost.  Sometimes even the greatest of generals need to withdraw for a moment to gather strength.

 

Just move on and try something else, however small it may appear to you at the moment. Sometimes even the smallest of steps may eventually yield the greatest of benefits.

 

The less attention, thought, worry, fear and energy you give these small slips, the less they really do affect you and the quality of your relationship.

 

At first this is not going to be easy to do.  But you’ll soon learn that it’s the best.  In fact, it really is the only approach to take if you’re determined to fix your marriage.

 

Success Approach #4:

Keep An Open Mind

 

The best way to approach these seven secrets is with an open mind.  You also need to go into the repair of your marriage with a good attitude — one of thinking that repair actually is possible.

 

If you think that you have the power to effect change in your relationship, then you do. But if you’ve already shut your mind to the possibility that your marriage can be saved, then it probably can’t. Yes, believe it or not, attitude may not be EVERYTHING, but it truly is a very powerful indicator of your future!

 

It’s time to move on to explore the seven secrets of a successful marriage.  The first one requires only your willingness to make it happen!

 


Chapter

3

Secret #1:

 Change Your View,

Change Your Marriage

 

How a change in your approach to your spouse can change their reaction: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

“Honest, it worked for me,” Joan said as she and Melinda continued to discuss Melinda’s perception that her marriage was falling apart.

 

“It sounds so, well . . . Pollyannish,” Melinda said.  “Something that simple just doesn’t work.”

 

“Oh, don’t let the simplistic sound of it fool you,” Joan warned her.  “It’s not really that simple.  The idea may sound crazy, but you still have to do quite a bit of work.  It’s not easy.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Don’t blow it off, at least give it some consideration.”

 

Melinda took another sip of her coffee thinking about what her friend had said.  Finally, she commented, “Well, what do I have to lose?” 

 

S

ecret #1 can also be called “expect the best.”  In many ways, that’s exactly what it asks you to do.  Expect the best possible relationship you’re capable of imagining.

 

In many ways, it’s taking the negative interpretation approach that so many couples play and turning it on its head. While some people may say you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and failure when you do this, others aren’t so sure.

 

I’m not talking about expecting specific details in your marriage to go perfectly smoothly all the time.  Let’s face it, not one of us remembers to take the garbage out every day.  And not one of us can be expected to put the cap on the toothpaste every time we use it.

 

So, those really aren’t the types of expectations we’re talking about here.  Instead I’m asking you to see your partner in general terms as a loving partner — to view your relationship as running smoothly.

 

And maybe even play some “mind movies” in your head of how you’d like to see an ideal day between the two of you play out. (Later in this chapter I give more specifics on how to go about doing this.)

 

High Expectations Create

A Fulfilling Marriage

 

Now this may seem like idle daydreaming, but recent research shows that those individuals who have high expectations of their marriage often do, indeed, experience the most satisfying, loving relationships.

 

Independent research, conducted by John Gottman, confirms the flip side of the coin as well.  He discovered that those individuals who adjusted to dealing with high levels of negativity — including irritability or emotional distance — in their union actually were less satisfied years down the road.

 

Those who refused to tolerate the negative behavior and gently confronted each other when such actions crept into their habits, ended up happy and satisfied as the years continued.

 

Similarly, spouses who monitor their marriages to ensure that quality stays high, are often more satisfied in the long run.  Just like the couples we talked about in the last chapter, who spent a mere five hours a week mindfully keeping in touch with each other’s lives, a regular “expectation” check-up is healthy.

 

Don’t allow your view of your marriage to slide using some worn out cliché like, “That’s bound to happen when you’ve been married as long as we have.”  That’s just an excuse to accept a less than loving, happy relationship.

 

Change your view.  Change your marriage.  The research implies that those individuals who started out expecting a certain level of satisfaction received it and kept monitoring it to ensure it was always part of their marriage.  It’s really never too late to change your view.

 

Have you always tolerated negativity in your marriage?  Well, then change your view.  Then be the person to take the first step in turning the corner towards a more positive outlook.

 

Do your arguments end up in shouting matches because neither of you wants to back down?  What if you decided that that particular argument really wasn’t worth a possible larger crack in your union and you took the first step toward peaceful negotiations or a spoken “I’m sorry”?

 

The Marital Poop Detector

 

John Gottman has a term for this process.  He calls it “The Marital Poop Detector.”  And there’s good reason for this.  It’s a good method, he says, “to sniff out trouble” in a marriage and change the direction of the relationship before things really get derailed.

 

More often than not, he notes, it’s the wife who becomes “the sniffer.” She points out the problem before it becomes overwhelming.  For example, if her husband has been overly irritable for an extended period, she’ll question him about it.  In this way, she has an understanding of what’s happening in his life.

 

Actually detecting potential trouble is far easier than combating it once it’s escalated to monster proportions. Don’t know what kind of “poop” you’re actually looking for?  Here’s a quick list of some things you should be asking yourself — and checking with your spouse.  Gottman suggests such checkups become a weekly ritual.  In this way nothing really gets out of control.

 

  • Have I been acting irritable and out of sorts lately?
  • Have I been feeling emotionally distant from my spouse?
  • Have you discovered that you really want to be somewhere else?
  • Have you been feeling lonely?
  • Have you been angry?  And why?
  • Do you feel out of touch with your spouse?
  • Would you like to feel closer to your spouse at this moment?
  • Have you been feeling tension between the two of you?

Do you believe your spouse is emotionally unavailable to you

 

What If I’m Working Alone

At Changing Our Marriage?

 

Many individuals ask that.  You can still change the view of your marriage — even without the help of your spouse — and potentially change the entire course of your relationship.

 

You just need to visualize your spouse as the loving partner they used to be or you know they can be.  Visualization is the act of seeing what you want as if it already existed.  This technique has been used for decades in a host of situations.

 

When you visualize a healthy, happy relationship, you’re sending your subconscious mind a picture of what you desire.  As you keep picturing this image, you mind begins to treat it as part of your new reality.  Eventually, it does become your reality.  You’ll notice you start attracting circumstances, events and other situations based on this fact.

 

While this sounds easy enough, it can be difficult to sustain these thoughts over time.  This is especially true if you’re always expecting the worst.

 

Of course, you can’t expect to turn your spouse into a completely different person using this method.  But if you remember a time when the two of you had a loving relationship, use this as the basis for your visualization.

 

This process works best when you use past events and experiences as well as your memories to recreate a time when your marriage was satisfying.  This is where the “mind movies” I talked about earlier come in.

 

Play mind movies of how your marriage was at the beginning.  Of how loving the two of you were.  Believe that this behavior is now the reality of your marriage right here, right now.

 

Now, take this concept one step farther.  After you’ve been playing these optimistic movies in your mind, take the first step in initiating actions that promote this.

 

Act “As If”

 

That’s right!  Your next step is to act as if your spouse is the loving, caring person you’re visualizing in your movies. Don’t worry right now that he or she is still grouchy.  Gently ask them why instead of chastising them for it.  Make them a special meal.  Tell them you’ve noticed they’ve been out of sorts lately and you thought a nice treat was in order to help them feel better.

 

If your wife has been less than kind, take her out for dinner.  Hire a babysitter to help with the stress.  Even treat her to a massage.  Any step toward making the marriage a little better helps.  It doesn’t have to be a big step.

 

Even refusal to jump in the fray and argue can go a long way to changing the course of your marriage.  Failing to get caught up in a long involved argument over the state of the toothpaste cap or the status of the toilet seat is helpful.  Notice that the seat is up and you really like it down?  How hard is it to put it down?

 

One wife I know used to nag her husband at dinner time.  She would make the dinner and then serve it dish by dish to her husband and her daughter.  The kitchen was small and it was just less confusion if she served her family.

 

There was only one problem with this approach.  By the time she got her food on the table, her husband was more than half done.  He would finish his meal and leave the table.  This left her eating all alone.

 

Even though she complained she hated it, he didn’t change his pattern.  Then one day, she decided that the situation wasn’t that important.  So, she just stopped complaining and accepted the situation.  Instead, she became thankful that he no longer had a job in which he traveled. Now, he was actually home for supper every night.

 

The Surprising Change

 

Soon after that she noticed a change in his behavior.  He delayed eating his meal until she was ready to begin.  Not only that, but he requested that their daughter do the same as well.

 

All this occurred because she began to change her view of what the meal should be like.

 

Try this yourself on a small scale.  Are you nagging your husband about throwing his dirty clothes in the hamper?  Why not just changing your view — your expectation?  Of course, you would love that he would, but for now he isn’t.  So, do it and be glad and then recount all the aspects of your marriage that are satisfying.  Be thankful for all of that.

 

Even if he doesn’t eventually throw his clothes in the hamper, you’ll feel a little less stressed and more thankful for what you do have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With God Behind You – A Book Of Prayers To Get Your Ex Back >>

Chapter

4

 Secret #2:

Look Backward to Move Forward

 

Review the emotions you felt when you dated; how in love you were.  How you cared about the other’s welfare to spark the romance, caring and love.

 

 

Melinda bubbled over with enthusiasm when she met Joan for coffee.

 

“I’ve at least got John talking a little,” she said.  “I really do believe part of it were my expectations of him.  And I did try to visualize us having conversations.”

       

Joan smiled. “It takes time to rebuild a marriage.”

 

“We’re still not out of the woods.”

 

Joan sipped her coffee, then spoke.  “Let me tell you about one of the best conversations Mark and I ever had.  I believe it actually helped turned the corner of our relationship.”

 

Melinda listened intently.  “You were right before,” she said.  “Again, I have nothing to lose by trying it.”

 

Arguing.  Negativity. Contempt for each other.  These characterize many marriages.  When you look at a couple with relationship problems displaying all of these traits or more, you wonder what brought them together in the first place.

 

Remember the pediatrician we met earlier in the book — the one who didn’t know the name of the family dog?  On the surface, you’d guess there would be no hope for this marriage.

 

Surprisingly, though, the couple was able to turn their problems around.  Today, they could be the poster couple for a happy, loving relationship.

 

The turning point of their relationship was a conversation they started while in marriage counseling.  The exchange of words had nothing to do with their current problems or his job.  Rather the pair began to talk about how they felt toward each other while they dated.

 

First, the wife told about how she anticipated each date, the traits that most attracted her to her future husband and the love that grew from that.

 

Subtle Changes

 In A Spouse

 

The husband, the counselor noted, smiled as his wife expressed her memories . . . relived the feelings . . . and admired the man she had dated then.  He had evidentially not been aware of the extent and depth of her feelings during that period.

 

The pediatrician then opened up.  He, too, recounted fond, loving memories of the dates.  He had a few confessions of his own he had never shared with his wife.

 

The biggest one was his extended plan to win her heart.  It seems he was so taken with his new sweetheart that he was determined to make her his wife.  And he didn’t care how long it took!

 

By the end of this particular session, the couple was actually holding hands.  The loving embers were beginning to smolder once more.

 

You and I may consider this amazing, but apparently it’s a phenomenon many marriage counselors encounter.

 

The memories this couple recounted were more than just pleasant stories.  They represented an underlying fondness and admiration for each other that had not been extinguished despite the years of turmoil.

 

Lying below all of their problems was a core belief that the other was still worthy of admiration, respect and love.

 

If a couple can still look back and talk fondly about how they met and dated, marriage researcher John Gottman explains, then the union has a chance of surviving — actually a very good chance.

 

His research indicates that overwhelmingly (94 percent of the time), couples that talk positively about when they first met are likely to reconcile their differences.  Their marriage not only survives, but thrives!

 

How Do You

View Your Past?

How do you and your spouse view the early days of your relationship?  Can you recall each other in a more positive light?

 

Give it a try.  Begin by reminiscing about your dating days; if you can recreate the excitement, anticipation and love of those early days in your relationship, that’s encouraging.

 

Actually, it’s more than encouraging.  It’s therapeutic as well as the springboard to restoring your marriage.

 

Having this fundamentally positive view of your past is a powerful buffer, Gottman explains, when tough times hit.  It’s like having a reserve of feelings to fall back on during marital stress.

 

Many couples don’t realize the fragility of these early feelings.  After continued arguments, feelings of contempt and mistrust and negative comments about each other, it’s all too easy to lose touch with the spark that started it all.

 

And that’s exactly where the “looking backward” part of this secret comes in.  As in the example we talked about earlier in this chapter, you can begin simply enough.

 

Positive feelings can always be recounted and remembered, regardless of the length of time they’ve been tucked away.

 

Don’t be afraid to talk about the early days of your relationship with your spouse.  The exchange will do you both good.

 

Don’t know where to start?  Here are some suggestions for helping you go down memory lane together.

 

1.  Discuss how you and your spouse first met.  What did you find special about them that attracted you?

 

2.  What was your first impression of your mate?

 

3. What is it that you remember about your first several dates?

 

4. How did you spend your time together before you were married?

 

5.  How did you decide to get married?

 

6.  How long did you know each other before you were married?

 

7.  Why did you choose this person to marry?  Was it difficult to decide?

 

8.  What do you remember about your wedding day?  Talk about your feelings that day.

 

9.  Talk about your first year of being a married couple.

 

10. How did you handle the transition to becoming parents?  Talk about this some.

 

11. Discuss the happiest times of your marriage.

 

12.  It’s not unusual for marriages to have good times and bad times.  Talk about events of your union that are indicative of both.

 

13.  Why do you think the two of you have stayed married?

 

14.  Are there any activities you enjoyed, but don’t do anymore?

 

15. What makes some marriages work when others don’t?

 

16.  Of the couples you know, who do you think has the best marriages? Who has less than happy ones? What do you think makes the difference? Where does your marriage fall into the spectrum?

 

17. Recall your parents’ marriages.  Were they successful?  Why or why not?  How do they differ from yours?

 

It’s Still No Guarantee

Of An Easy Fix

 

Completing this short set of questions recharges most marriages, counselors say.  The discourse, more often than not, reminds both the husband and wife of the love they once felt.  It also brings back all the old expectations they once held for their new life together.

 

In many instances, the loving thoughts reignited hope and fueled their drive to save their marriage.  Don’t expect the conversations sparked by these questions to be a quick fix.  Couples still had to work at repairing the problems in their marriage.

 

Now For The Good News

 

But the good news is that after having these discussions, both the husband and wife were in agreement that the marriage was definitely worth saving.   And that meant that they redoubled their efforts to work things out.

 

If this conversation could save a marriage where one partner was gone just about every weeknight and never home long enough to learn the name of the family dog, think what it could do for your marriage!

 

Put Secret #2 to work for you today.  Take that walk down Memory Lane together.  You may find that by looking back, you’ll be able to move forward towards a happy, stable marriage.

 

Chapter 5 contains the next secret for saving your marriage.  This one secret may very well be the fundamental underlying secret power that helps to keep all marriages going strong year after year!

 


Chapter

5

Secret #3: 

Friends First, Spouses Second

 

How the best marriage partners start out as best friends first.  How to become best friends.

 

 

“Without a doubt, I believe this single aspect of our relationship ultimately saved my marriage,” Joan said on her and Melinda’s now weekly coffee shop visits.

       

Melinda, once wary of Joan’s suggestions, had discovered them to all be spot on. The young woman now eagerly listened.

 

“I’d love to know what that was,” Melinda asked.

 

Joan smiled, sipped her coffee and then explained . . .

 

It seems like a simple enough concept, but it’s one aspect of a marriage that gets stamped out first.  Whether this is due to neglect or it’s done purposely, probably depends on the individual couples.

 

But how it happens ultimately doesn’t matter.  The fact that it does happen is the truly sad thing.

 

What am I talking about?  Friendship.  Research on marital relations indicates that for the vast majority of couples, the most important goal is to ensure that their spouse is their friend — and that he or she in return, is a friend to the mate.

 

This makes sense.  Moms since the beginning of time have been telling their daughters this.  “All else, good looks . . . sexual attraction . . . matter little if you and your husbands aren’t friends first.”

 

Not surprisingly, then, when marriages are young and relationships are healthy, most spouses acknowledge this friendship factor.  In fact, it may surprise some women to learn that men actually describe their wives as their best friend more often than women do.

 

If you can nourish — or rekindle — that friendship, then there’s little doubt your marriage can, indeed, still be saved.

 

What’s This Friendship

Stuff All About Anyway?

In order to be a friend, though, you really need to know what a friend is.  If you were to ask a dozen random individuals exactly what a friend is, you’d receive a dozen different answers.

 

But generally speaking, a friend is a person with whom you can relax, talk to about your feelings and dreams, and a person who’s there when times get tough.

 

Friends are important for you — not only emotionally but physically as well.  Research reveals that your friends can actually provide you with that much needed buffer during some of life’s roughest moments.  Those individuals who have at least one good friend do better in almost every conceivable way — including their mental and physical health.

 

The most powerful aspect of friendship, studies reveal, is the feeling of intimacy and connection with the other person.  Men and women approach this aspect differently.

 

And this approach can sometimes lead to misunderstanding.  Women share with friends during face-to-face communications.  They put all activity aside while they discuss issues.

 

Men, on the other hand, tend to talk about and share their feelings as they do something else.

 

In a marriage, friendship is hearing your partner’s heart in the ways he or she is most able to share it.  And that can take any number of forms.  That means creating those bonds of friendship is unique to your marriage.

 

Your job is to learn to listen carefully for what is in your partner’s heart and soul. Then you can share what’s in yours.  Sounds easy enough, now doesn’t it?  So what could possibly go wrong?  Plenty in today’s high speed world.

 

First, let’s take the issue of time.  Far too often the maintenance of your friendship with your spouse takes a backseat to such events as work, the needs of your children, meetings and a host of any other number of things.

 

Sometimes the friendship slips because of a skewed view of it.  Listen to this shift in attitude.  Eighty percent of engaged and newlywed couples say that their partner is their best friend.  Theoretically, you’d expect those bonds to tighten as the years pass.

 

However, those couples that have been married for a while view themselves as “just married.”  They no longer identify themselves as friends first — or friends at all, for that matter!

 

Those marriages, though, in which the spouses recognize and nurture the initial friendship, are among the strongest and longest lasting.

 

When The Talking Stops

 

One reason this view ensues is that as time passes, marriage partners simply stop talking to each other as friends.  They seem to put their “friendship talk” on hold and only discuss the problems or issues of their marriage.  You’re cheating yourselves of the intimacy you used to so readily share.

 

Let’s go one step further with this idea.  Many individuals in a marriage eventually build a wall around them.  And you can easily understand it — even if it’s a damaging action.

 

It’s difficult, after all, to share your hopes and dreams with a personal you’re currently mad at or experiencing a major disagreement with. We’ve talked earlier about the habit some partners have of interpreting everything you say in a negative light.  Who’s going to bare their soul just to have someone stick a knife in it in an argument they experience next week? Why give your spouse any more ammunition?

 

If the two of you have a continuing argument ensuing over an issue, chances of sitting down for a heart-to-heart on other topics is extremely low.

 

Consider, for example, this potential situation.  You’re involved in a great friendship talk with your spouse when the topic somehow turns to a household problem, ending in an argument.

 

Chances of starting another round of friendly conversation have probably declined.  You’re now fearful that the conversation can turn sour at any time with little to no advance warning.  And I can’t say your fear is baseless in this instance.

 

Now, How Do I Preserve

My Friendship?

 

Great friends question each other. Great friends get together to talk to each other.  Great friends stay in touch.

 

Some parts of this answer may appear hopelessly simplistic.  Some of these suggestions are easy enough to offer them quickly.  But realize they may be far more difficult to implement.

 

If time to talk is an issue for you — then make the time.  I know one couple who talk early in the morning, first cups of coffee in their hands.  And they sit there chattering away about just about anything that pops into their heads.

 

This habit started simply enough for them.  For a period of time, the husband needed to get up at 4:30 a.m. to leave for work at 5:30 a.m.  The wife obviously didn’t need to rise that early.  But she did because it was the only time they could find without the interference of children to talk to each other.

 

This marriage at this point easily could have begun to fall apart.  Instead, it grew stronger as they enjoyed their special time together.

 

Without even knowing it, this couple was protecting and preserving their friendship.  Research now indicates the importance of this action.  Creating time for the nurturing of your friendship is one of the key investments you can make in your marriage.

 

It’s that important.  Search for time.  Create special times to do just this.  Whether you rise earlier, stay up later talking, or create a date night for that type of conversation, it’s well worth the effort.

 

You need to take one more step though. And in some marriages this may be a giant leap.  Some couples find friendship talks always ending up as “conflict disagreements” over household issues.  Don’t let that happen.

 

If you have to set up “game rules” so to speak to avoid this, then by all means do so.

 

Friendship Talks

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage

 

By doing this, you’ll realize your friendship talks are deepening and strengthening your marriage.  This way you’re providing the necessary infrastructure to survive the conflict talks that are bound to emerge.

 

If you wake up early in the morning to renew your friendship, don’t mar this time by bringing up potential conflict issues.

 

Don’t consider this avoidance; think of it as prudent planning.  Your relationship will be all the stronger for this.

 

Sadly, some couples are so removed from this idea that they have no clue where to begin this “friendship talk” stuff.  If this describes your marriage, don’t abandon the idea.  It may take a little work, but it can definitely happen.

 

Here are some clues about how to initiate these very important conversations.  Of course, these are just starting points.  Once the two of you begin to talk, you’ll find a host of other topics to talk about again too!

 

1. Share good news.

 

Whether it’s something small at work that has happened or a major event in the life of one of your children, share the excitement with your partner.

 

2.  Share an interest of yours.

 

Are you reading a good book?  Talk about it.  Knitting a cool piece of clothing? Mention it!  As you talk, it’s very possible your spouse will catch your excitement about what you’re doing.  And that can only make your friendship stronger.

 

3. Discuss your personal dreams and goals.

 

Sure, you still have personal dreams.  You still have goals you’d like to accomplish.  Not only will your marriage be stronger if you share these, but you may be recruiting an ally in your quest.  How can your spouse help you achieve all of this, if he or she doesn’t even know you desire it?

 

4. Talk about current events.

 

Of course, don’t end up in a conflict over something political neither of you have the power to change.  But discussing current event is especially interesting when you share similar world views and political values.  And as parents of younger children, it sure beats talking about diapers or cartoon characters all day long!

 

These are just a few starting points.  Once you’re back into the habit of talking with your partner again, the conversation just flows, I promise you.  In the meantime, don’t give up.

 

In the following chapter, our friends Joan and Melinda discuss another fundamental aspect of any good marriage — and one of the very vital secrets to keeping your marriage strong.

 

If your marriage is lacking in this area, don’t try to overlook it and say it really doesn’t matter — because it does.  If you can add spark and zing in this area, your relationship will be all the stronger and healthier for it.

 


Chapter

6

Secret #4:

Yes, Romance and a

Healthy Sex Life Are Important!

 

Don’t fool yourself, simple ways to reignite the romance.

 

 

Joan was already seated and enjoying her coffee when Melinda entered the coffee shop.

 

“I’m sorry I’m late,” the younger woman said.  “But John called from work just to say hi.  We chatted for a few minutes.”

 

Melinda paused.  “Our marriage is feeling more and more like it did when we were newlyweds.”

 

Joan nodded.  She knew exactly what Melinda meant. 

 

Then the young woman added, “Except for one area.  But it’s normal, from what I understand for this aspect to fade as the years go by.”

 

Even without Melinda explicitly saying it, Joan knew what area she was talking about.  “Just because it happens in many marriages doesn’t make it normal or desirable.  And it doesn’t mean it has to occur in yours.”

 

“Oh,” Melinda said thoughtfully.

 

Ourfriend Joan is right.  One of the major issues challenging existing marriages in ever-increasing numbers is a waning interest in sex.

 

Married couples in the United States are actually less sexually active compared to those couples in other Western countries.  Surprised?  Most people are quite shocked to learn this.

 

What a Difference

10 Years Makes

 

The problem only worsens as you age, by the way.  Those married and in their 30s report that they make love approximately twice a week.  This dwindles down to only once a week for partners who are in their 40s.

 

Of course, you can use any number of factors to explain the decline.  Generally speaking, though, research indicates three reasons for the phenomenon:

 

1. Partners’ failure to distinguish between sensuality and sexuality.

 

2.  The couple’s inability to make this sensual-sexual aspect of their marriage a priority.

 

3.  Allowing the romance to die off.

 

Think about the next question before you answer.  Do you know the difference between the sensual and the sexual delights?  If you have a difficult time putting it in words, perhaps the differences aren’t well established in your mind.

 

And don’t be ashamed to say you really don’t know.  Many individuals are at a real loss when it comes to this area.

 

What are the first thoughts that come into your mind when you hear the word sexuality?  For most people, they include sexual intercourse, orgasms and all those highly pleasurable actions that occur both before and after that climatic moment.

 

Now, consider your first thoughts when you hear the word sensual.  This may be a bit more difficult for many.  Do you conjure up images of gentle touching, the fragrance you’ve associated with your spouse, the feel of your partner’s stubble of a beard, the pleasure of walking along a beach hand in hand?  Perhaps it’s recalling the feelings that go with getting a soft and caring massage with essential oils?

 

As you can see from these brief descriptions, sensuality isn’t necessarily associated with the actual action of love making.  In fact, sensual feelings sometimes do lead to sexual acts.  But that isn’t at all necessary for the enjoyment of those moments.  Sensuality carries rewards and pleasures all on its own.

 

Sensuality encompasses all of those lingering memories of all of the above — and perhaps even more!  Sensuality can be almost any memory that gives you sensual arousal and pleasure.  In other words, it’s as individual as you are!

 

In The Beginning,

It Needs No Encouraging!

 

Early in most relationships, couples know instinctively to touch each other frequently.  They hold each other’s hand readily; they hug, kiss and provide each other with all types of sensual touches.

 

They also talk affectionately to each other, cuddle, and even provide non-sexual massages.

 

As the relationship continues, very often these couples tend to ignore the sensual aspect and jump right into the sexual.  When this happens the emphasis naturally turns to performance and away from pleasure.

 

The only sad part of this is that the sensual encounters are the parts that really kept the spouses from feeling like they were growing apart.

 

Not only that, but research now reveals that even when sensual and romantic talk doesn’t lead to immediate sexual performance, it does contribute to eventually a stronger sexual connection in the long term.

The Bottom Line:

Romance

 

As you can probably guess from this discussion, research on relationships reveals that every marriage needs to have a blend of both sensual and sexual activities.

 

And that leads us to the concept of romance. Ask four couples to define what romance means to them and you’ll receive four separate definitions.

 

Being romantic is, in fact, a state that each couple develops especially for themselves.  There’s no golden formula you can follow, no step-by-step program you can take to ensure your success.

 

But, there are some common aspects.  The first and best approach is to just be thoughtful.  Sounds pretty simplistic, now doesn’t it?  But it works.  Think of your spouse’s needs, his or her desires and dreams.  Be willing to help him or her fulfill them.

 

And we’re not necessarily talking about sexual needs. Let’s say, for example, that’s it’s your spouse’s job in the household to take out the garbage, but he’s been working late.  He’s under a great deal of pressure at work to finish a project on a drop-dead deadline.

 

A Form of Anticipating

His or Her Needs

 

Instead of waiting for him to do it or nagging him because he’s not doing it, why not just take it out yourself?  This gives him some breathing time when he gets home.  And it also alleviates one more detail he has to concern himself with.

 

Of course, there are other times romance may include a surprise weekend get away without the children or some other delightful surprise.  But the bottom line here is to be thoughtful of what your partner’s current needs are and how you can make life a little easier and more enjoyable for them.

 

Soon you’ll discover that your marriage has its own special definition of romance.  But, be patient.  Don’t expect this to fall into place immediately.  Sometimes it requires a bit of serious communications.  This ensures that both of you know what’s actually happening during these often subtle moments.

 

What Does Love

Have To Do With It?

 

Falling out of love is probably the most common reason for divorce.  So just what does love have to do with your relationship?

 

Seems like a no brainer of a question.  Why, it has everything to do with it.  And everything we’ve talked about in this chapter so far contributes to a working definition of love.

 

Robert Steinberg, of Yale University, describes love using a recipe-like approach:  “one part intimacy, fun and friendship; one part passion and romance, and one part commitment.

 

Think about that before you “blame” falling out of love as the reason for your considering a divorce. No, you can’t force yourself to fall back into love, but you may be able to improve certain aspects of your relationship to contribute to a rekindling of love.

 

Contributors to Poor

Sensual and Sexual Relations

 

We’ve already touched on part of the problem for many couples.  They bypass the sensual side of their relationship and head straight for the sexual aspects after several years together.  That means that the issue of sex becomes dominated by performance rather than enjoyment and feelings.

 

When this happens, many individuals say they feel distant during their love making.  This, according to the marriage experts, can lead to sexual boredom, closely followed by a host of performance-based complaints.

 

Think about the old 1970s pop song, “Piña Colada.”  Okay, so it wasn’t a great piece of music.  It is however a wonderful illustration of the difference between sensual and sexual.  More specifically, it talks about boredom.

 

“I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long . . .me and my old lady had fallen into the same old dull routine.”  And he searches the personal ads.  He finds someone looking not so much for sexual pleasure, but the sensual side of relationship.  When he discovers the ad had been placed by his wife, the song continues:

 

“I never knew. . .”

“That you liked Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
And the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You’re the love that I’ve looked for, come with me, and escape.”

 

For many couples on the brink of divorce the problem is, figuratively speaking, they can’t feel the ocean or taste the champagne any longer.

 

The driving focus on sexual performance actually interferes with arousal. The concentration on performing detracts individuals from really enjoying the sensations of pleasure at the moment as well as the pleasure derived from sharing these feelings.

 

Conflict Can Block Romance

 

Conflict between the two of you can also be an impediment to romance. After all, who wants to have an intimate relationship with someone you’re arguing with?

 

Tension, obviously, isn’t compatible with love making. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that no part of your marriage is more vulnerable to continuing conflict then your sexual relationship.

 

And that’s sad.  Making love — even touching sensuously — can be one of the fundamental ways to connect with your partner.  Just like how we suggested that conflict shouldn’t creep into your friendship conversations, conflict should be kept out of the bedroom as well.  Yes, it’s much easier said than done.  But with cooperation and effort, it’s not impossible.

 

“But I’m Just Not Interested”

 

This phrase is becoming common among many married partners.  Does it describe you?

 

Surprisingly, sexual problems are increasing – with both men and women.  43 percent of women and 31 percent of men reported some type of sexual issue, according to research conducted by Edward Laumann at the University of Chicago.

 

Curiously, only 5 percent of men reported their problems as low sexual desire.  A total of 22 percent of the women said this was the issue.  Another 14 percent of the women explained they had the desire, but had a difficult time being sexually aroused.

 

Research shows that a host of reasons may be at the root cause of the loss of desire.  They include (but are not limited to):

 

  • Side effects of medications (including antidepressants)
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Sleep problems
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Stress
  • Boredom
  • Hormonal problems

 

If you notice, most of the items deal with your overall health and energy level.  And that’s really not surprising. When you’re stressed, tired, feeling run down or just feeling sick, it’s difficult to get interested in sex.

 

Of course, there’s really no need to remind you that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that.  In fact, in the long term, feeling close to your spouse should be — and can be — an amazing source of emotional and psychological strength.

 

This strength can keep the rest of your life running smoothly.  Don’t underestimate the role sex plays in maintaining a healthy relationship.

 

Your first step to restoring sexual desire is to get any potential physical causes checked out.  Don’t be afraid to tell your health care physician the reason for your physical.

 

Once you can rule out physical reasons as the cause of your disinterest, then the two of you need to search together to discover possible causes.

 

You Know Me

So Well . . .

 

That may be the case between you and your spouse: you may, indeed, know each other very well.  You may know each other so well, in fact, that you can read each other’s thoughts, at times.  Just don’t assume, however, that this “telepathy” can be extended into the bedroom.

 

And whatever you do, don’t assume your spouse likes what you like when it comes to sensuality and sexuality.  Don’t be afraid to discuss your preferences.  Ask what gives him or her most pleasure.  And be prepared to talk about what works for you.

 

Research shows that the couples enjoying the best sexual relationships have developed their own methods of telling each other what they like.  And this includes both verbal and nonverbal communication.

 

Another piece of advice many marriage counselors give to couples: create time for sensual experiences that don’t necessarily lead to sex.

 

 

You Have

Nothing to Lose

 

Perhaps there’s no other aspect of your marriage that feels as vulnerable as your sexual relations.  Even couples that have been married for years feel wary and nervous about taking emotional risk when talking about their sexual preferences.

 

But doing so is an essential first step towards creating a better partnership — and by “better partnership” I don’t mean only in the bedroom.  This strengthens your entire marriage.

 

By exploring not only the sexual side of your relationship, but the sensual aspect as well, you’re creating an epoxy that can hold your marriage together for years to come.

 

There’s another secret to ensure that the glue that keeps you, your partner and even your children together as a family stays firm.  Merely by making several small adjustments in your daily pattern, you can form a strong family that’s capable of weathering just about any storm.

 

Interested?  It’s all laid out for you in the next chapter!

 

 

 


Chapter

 7

Secret #5:

Create Family Traditions

 

Marriage experts have verified, the more rituals and traditions your relationship — and your family – has, the stronger the fabric of your marriage.

 

“Our life together is so wonderful, now.”  Melinda nearly exploded with excitement when she saw Joan.  “I don’t know how I can possibly thank you.”

 

“No need to.  I’m just happy I can help.”  Joan took a short sip on her coffee.

 

“This is the first time I’ve heard you refer to your marriage as ‘our life together’.”

 

Melinda smiled.  “Because it finally feels as if we’re creating one life together out of our two.”

 

Joan nodded.  She knew exactly what Melinda meant.  “Let me share with you my little secret that helps make sure that my husband and I have a life together.  Because of this, there’s less chance that we drift apart.”

 

Think back to your childhood.  Did your family have certain habits or customs that all of you experienced on a regular basis?

 

I remember Sunday meals.  It was the only consistent day we ate in the dining room.  During the week we ate at the kitchen table.  We ate every Sunday meal at about the same time and very often it was the same meal every week.  Even after my brothers and I moved out of the house and had families of our own, we all met at Mom and Dad’s for Sunday dinner together.  No one forced us to.  We enjoyed every minute of it.

 

Then we had a special Christmas Eve ritual as well. In addition to this we had other little habits and small customs that we shared and enjoyed.  These events — both large and small — in a very real sense defined our family.

 

My mom, additionally, created some rituals just for her and Dad.  He worked in a steel mill.  She always woke up at 5:30 a.m. They had morning coffee together. Then she’d pack his lunch and off to work he’d go.  She didn’t need to get up that early, but it was their small way of keeping in touch.

 

What Every Marriage Needs . . .

 

Every marriage needs these rituals, customs, habits and a little more.  Perhaps your marriage is lacking a deeper sense of shared meaning.  You can create this simply by startomg certain traditions within your relationship.

 

Not only that, but you can also infuse it with a spiritual dimension that helps you create a family culture together.  Your family culture can be rich in ideas and rituals and help sustain you in rough times.

 

In this way, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the roles you play in your household as well as your partner’s.

 

Don’t let the term “culture” confuse you. Certainly we use it to refer to traditions and rituals of various countries.  But there’s no reason why the word can’t be used to describe a much smaller group of people (even a “group” of two!) and the habits and ideas that hold them together.

 

In essence, as the two of you form your own household, you’ll be creating your own family traditions.  It’s from these that you create for yourselves — and your children — habit that will carry on for generations.

 

Establishing Core Values

 

In a very real sense, by doing this you’re establishing a set of beliefs or core values by which your family lives.  And this may very well include spiritual beliefs and values as well.

 

Now at this point you may be asking how does this help save your marriage?  A marital union with a strong sense of traditions and history as will offer a safe haven from the turbulence that might otherwise tear a weaker, less stable union apart.  In effect, you’re creating a safety net — or an insurance policy — guarding against eventual divorce.

 

Marital researcher and relationship expert, John Gottman, calls this structure a “shared meaning.”  And the more items you can add to your shared meaning, the more rewarding your relationships will ultimately become.

 

Creating Family Rituals

 

Did you know that less than one third of the families in the United State sit down to eat dinner together on a regular basis?  And when they do, it’s almost a sure bet they’re eating in front of the television set.  Many public officials mourn the loss of an established family dinner time at a real table where conversation can flow.

 

But not for the reasons you may first think.  Their concern is for the ultimate survival of these families.  They know all too well the families without rituals and the marriages with the fewest traditions, are most susceptible to divorce.

 

It goes without saying that some of these traditions develop naturally along with a new relationship and a growing family.  You’ll also discover that as you encounter certain events, religious holidays, even birthdays of individual family members, you’ll be establishing actions that may soon define who your family is.

 

We’re not talking necessarily about any major shared events. Many times it’s the smallest of situations that provide the best opportunities.  Here are just a few examples of what some couples have created.

 

  • A weekly date — without the children
  • Approaches to celebrating the successes in your lives
  • Methods of dealing with the setbacks of life
  • Ways of treating others, caring for your community at large

 

Multiple Relationships:

The Roles You Play At Home and Away

 

Each of us plays various roles in life.  By that I mean that you may be — all at one time — a mother to your children, a daughter to your own mom, a sister, a wife, an employee, an aunt . . . well, you get the idea.

 

Viewed from the perspective of your marriage, your roles, and those of your partner’s, can either contribute a deeper sense of meaning to your relationship or increase the tension and stress.

 

The more the two of you are in alignment with your marital expectations, the more your marriage will feel fulfilling and satisfying.

 

These expectations include how the major decisions are made, views on parenting, as well as the type of interaction you have with your extended families — your parents, his parents, as well as any siblings the two of you have and even your aunts and uncles.

 

I know one couple who just seemed to be able to do this automatically.  The husband had a simple, but quite descriptive term for it.  He said he and his spouse were presenting a “united front.”  Whatever you choose to call it, marriage experts now agree, it’s one of the most effective methods of bolstering and solidifying a relationship.

 

 

 

What About My

Personal Goals?

 

Creating a meaningful life together certainly doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your personal goals for “the greater good.”  Quite the contrary.  The culture you make within your home will automatically support your individual goals — both yours and your spouse’s.

 

The greater meaning you derive from your marriage, the more respect each of you will ultimately have for the other’s deepest personal goals.  These goals and dreams could be anything from career plans to spiritual views of the world.

 

Symbolic Values

 

Another way of sharing meaning in a family is to surround yourself with things that represent your core values and beliefs. These things could be literal or figurative.  Most couples and families have a combination of both.

 

When I was growing up, I noticed the overwhelming (too me!) amount of religious symbols in my grandmother’s house.  Pictures of Jesus, the crucifix, various types of rosary beads, as well as religious candles were in every room of her home.

 

Looking back on it, she was creating a culture for her family.  I had no doubt similar items were to be found in the house when my mom was growing up there.

 

But it doesn’t have to be religious.  I know one couple whose symbol was their dining room table.  Seriously.  They had saved for years for this very special custom-made table.  It represented the “beauty and stability” of their own marriage, they acknowledged.

 

Abstract symbols can be just as significant and quite effective in creating this shared meaning and a family culture.  Family stories are an important way of connecting with the past.  In this way, you feel as if you’re not only whole, but you’re actually part of a family with roots that go far deeper.

 

It’s even more meaningful when you can gather these stories — that usually speak to your core values — from both sides of your families to pass them down to your children.

 

If you’ve been married for some time and haven’t created a common culture, be patient.  It won’t happen overnight.  But now that you know the vital role it can play in keeping your marriage healthy, you may want to discover some ways of doing so.

 

It won’t happen overnight.  But with attention, intention and diligence, it can occur.

 

Don’t expect to agree on every new event or activity becoming a fundamental part of your new family culture.  It just isn’t going to happen.  But you will find some common ground.

 

And these are the areas you nurture, nourish and cultivate.  The more often you recognize and celebrate the traditions, rituals and symbols of your family, the stronger your marriage will be.  And the more resilient it becomes.

Chapter

8

 Secret #6:

Talking, Not Fighting

 

How to talk issues out, not fight about them.

It’s a fine art and can be learned.

 

“I just hate to admit it,” Joan said to Melinda their now weekly coffee shop meetings.

 

“Admit what?”  Joan’s remarks stirred Melinda’s curiosity.

 

“There were times — okay there still are times — when I’m responsible for causing a discussion to escalate out of control into an argument.”

 

“That’s very open of you to see and admit it,” Melinda said.

 

“It seems many wives are, without our even knowing it.”

 

“Wow !  If I didn’t know you better I would say that sounded like a sexist remark.  But I’m sure you have some logical explanation to prove that statement.”

 

Our friend Joan not only has a logical explanation for that statement, she also has research to back her up. If you’re the female partner in your union, you may be tempted to pretend you never saw this secret.  On the surface, there’s no doubt about it, it does sound sexist.

 

But once I reveal the secret and some expert opinions surrounding this specific situation, you’ll be more understanding of it.  And you’ll be able to make a few adjustments in how you relate to your husband.

 

Not only will your husband be grateful, but you’ll find that the two of you will be able to talk more and fight less when it comes to resolving issues.

 

To Dream The

Impossible Dream!

 

In a phrase, it’s called “Talk, Don’t Fight.”  I can hear you now!  Well, if we could do that, we’d have no problems.  But what you’re asking us to do — talk, don’t fight — is nearly impossible.

 

No, it’s not impossible — not once you learn a few basic tricks and tips in how to approach your spouse with a problem.  And even more importantly, you learn how to keep the lines of communications flowing free of negative interpretation, bitterness, and accusations.

 

But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  First we’ll examine the problem — and then I’ll explain how each partner in the relationship can — and should — be held accountable for the progress of the discussion.

 

Respecting Each Other

A couple’s best chance of resolving conflicts that are bound to crop up in their relationship is through acknowledged mutual respect and an open, honest discussion.  If you ask couples, in fact, if they are sincere about solving their occasional problems concerning money or housework, you’ll receive a resounding yes.

 

It’s unfortunate, then, that far too many well-intended conversations about issues end up in shouting matches.  Sound familiar?

 

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not too late to learn how to approach the daily solvable problems of life so you are . . . well . . . solving things instead of allowing them to escalate into major battles.

5 Easy Steps To A

Meaningful Discussion

The beauty of these five easy steps is that they really are “easy.”  Implementing these doesn’t require long hours in marriage counseling or learning some new technique.  Believe it or not, you already have all the skills you need right now to talk civilly to your partner in order to solve your issues.

 

In a very real sense, in fact, it all comes down to practicing the same manners with your spouse that you’d use with anyone else.  That’s all there is to it, basically!

 

Are you ready to start?  Here’s Step Number 1, probably the most important of them all.

 

Step #1:

Approach the Subject Gently

Of course this step is targeted to either spouse who brings up an issue for discussion.  Researchers have found, however, that most problems are broached by the wife.

 

It’s really not a sexist statement, researchers tell us.  It’s a cultural phenomenon.  Women are more likely to seek a resolution to an issue.  Men, on the other hand, are more likely to distance themselves from the concerns that appear more difficult to face.

 

Believe it or not, there’s a physiological reason for this. Gottman explains that men tend to experience something called “flooding”.

 

Flooding is a term that describes the overwhelming feeling you get when you experience your spouse’s negative opinion.  The negativity may be in the form of criticism, contempt or even defensiveness.  The effect on your body is so suddenly overwhelmingly uncomfortable, Gottman, says, it leaves a person feeling “shell-shocked.”

 

You feel defenseless.  And because of this you would do just about anything to avoid a repeat performance of that experience.

 

The reaction only grows with increasing exposure to the negativity.  The more you feel flooded by your spouse’s criticism, the more defensive you become.  You look all the more diligently for clues that your spouse is about to criticize you again.

 

Eventually, for many individuals, the concern is so all-encompassing that all you can really think about is protecting yourself from your spouse’s perceived attacks.  Many people do this through emotionally disengaging themselves from the relationship.

 

Where Does the

Discussion Begin, Then?

 

So just how do you begin a meaningful discussion concerning a pressing marital or household issue?

 

By approaching the subject gently, in a non-accusatory fashion.  A gentle approach is free from criticism and contempt.

 

Instead of “accusing” your spouse of never throwing his dirty clothes in the hamper, for example, you can mention that you have recently observed it’s not getting done.

 

Take a moment to notice the difference between the two approaches presented below:

 

“I noticed that your dirty clothes are lying on the bedroom floor and the hamper is empty.”

“You seem to continually refuse to throw your clothes in the hamper.  It’s such a simple thing to do.  Do you expect me to keep doing it for you?

 

The first — and gentler — approach begins with the word “I.”  The second, more accusatory start uses the word “you.”  In effect, you’re blaming your spouse right out of the box instead of just neutrally observing a situation and waiting for his explanation of it.

 

If you sound as if you’re blaming your partner from the very beginning, then he or she is put on the defensive at the start of the discussion.  And from here, the conversation is bound to escalate into a shouting match.

 

On the other hand, if you observe, he has an opportunity to save face, saying something like:

 

“Oops.  You’re right.  We did make an agreement about that. My bad.  I’ll try to do better in the future.”

 

This method of talking about the problem is far more crucial than you may think.  Discussions overwhelmingly end on the same tone they begin, according to Gottman.  If you start out with accusations and placing your partner on the defensive, you’ll end the discussion in that same tone.

 

That means it’s very important that you start out gently.  If you can do this, then your discussion is far more likely to be productive.  And this may just be the turning point in your relationship.

 

I’d love to try this, you say, but I’m not quite sure I can carry it off.  Well, of course you can! Here are just a few ideas to keep in mind while you try the gentle approach.

 

1)  You can complain about a situation, but don’t blame your spouse.

 

If you follow this suggestion, you’re not attacking your spouse’s character or personality.  You’re much closer to playing the role of observer.

 

2)  Start off with the word “I” instead of “you.”

 

We’ve already spoken about this briefly.  When you use the word “I”, it puts the issue in a more objective light.  If you insist on accusing your spouse, it sounds as if you’ve already judged him — and found him guilty.  And he has little recourse but to get defensive.

 

3)  Be specific in discussing the changes you’d like occur.

 

In this way, he knows exactly what you have in mind.  And he has a chance to respond and give his opinion about the issue at hand as well.

 

4) Be polite.

 

Why yes, it’s important!  Of course you should use words like “please,”  “I’d appreciate it,” and “thank you.”  You would talk this way with everyone else wouldn’t you?

 

So why not talk that way to the person you’re closest to?  If want your spouse to pick up his clothes and place them in the hamper, ask him nicely!

 

5) Don’t hold your dissatisfaction in for so long you’re ready to explode.

 

This is a common occurrence. For some reason, it’s human nature to believe that things will eventually get better all on their own.  We, therefore, tend to put things off until we can’t tolerate it anymore.

 

We act a lot a lot like the old cartoon character, Popeye The Sailor Man.  He took all he could of a situation until he finally exploded, saying, “That’s it!  That’s all I can stands; I can’t stands it no more.”  Then we all knew Bluto was in big trouble.

 

It’s extremely difficult to act gently when you’re feeling like this.  Don’t wait too long before talking about the topic or else you’re just setting the both of you up for failure

 

Step #2:

Repairing the Situation

Don’t fool yourself.  Using the first step doesn’t mean you’ll glide to the end of the discussion successfully 100 percent of the time.  Far from it.

 

That’s why Step 2 is learning how to put the brakes on a discussion that’s sliding out of control.

 

Despite your best attempts, you may find the conversation didn’t begin as well as you had hoped.  Or perhaps in the midst of the conversation things took an ugly turn for the worse.  Don’t give up hope.  Yes, you can prevent a full-blown disaster if you know how to respond appropriately to the situation.

 

Repairing the conversation works best when your spouse recognizes what you’re doing.  He realizes you’re trying to either steer the conversation towards a more positive approach or end it for the moment.

 

In good solid marriages, couples seem to know instinctively when the other is attempting to repair the direction of the discussion.  And he or she then responds in kind.

 

In less stable relationships, this is more difficult to do.  Sometimes the air has been charged with negativity for so long that any attempt at repair is met with cynicism or sarcasm.

 

Very often the attempt is ignored even though it may be a straightforward request for an intermission.  In these cases, it’s very often the delivery of the requests that derails the attempt.  If it’s delivered with the same hostility as the conversation contains, it’s far too easy to ignore it.

 

The key to making the attempts work, therefore, is to have a prepared line or two that you can use.  When you hear these particular phrases, regardless of the tone in which they are delivered, it’s time to take a break.

 

Whatever phrase you choose, from, “Let’s stop for a while,” to “Can we take a break,” be sure it’s recognized.  In this way, you won’t be dragged into saying things you’ll later regret.

 

Step 3:

Calm Yourself;

Calm Your Partner

 

When you or your spouse discovers that your bodies are tensing up over the topic, you need to take a break from talking — or arguing.

 

You can’t be receptive and open in a discussion if you’re stressed, tense and waiting to get clobbered verbally.  Believe it or not, it’s more difficult for a man’s body to calm itself following an argument than a woman’s body.

 

Once you’ve stopped the discussion, take specific actions that will relax your body.  Listen to music or exercise.  If you are familiar with meditation techniques, this would be the perfect opportunity to use them.  If you’re not, you may want to learn more about this practice.

 

Research bears this out.  Gottman has interrupted couples in his workshops whose discussions on their issues are escalating out of control.  Of course, he doesn’t tell them the real reason why he’s stopping the discussion.  He uses the excuse that his staff needed to adjust equipment.

 

During this “repair” time, he requested the couple not to talk about the issue at hand.  They were to read magazines for half an hour while the equipment is being worked on.

 

When they began their discussion once again, their heart rates were much lower and their discussion once again became more productive.

 

Generally speaking, Gottman says, if your heart rate is greater than 100 beats a minute, you’ll be unable to listen to your spouse.  That’s the time to take your break!

 

Don’t be bashful during this time in working together to soothe each other.  Gottman suggests you give each other a massage.  You may also try guiding each other through a meditation.

 

Step #4:

Compromise

Ouch!  That’s a word many individuals don’t particularly want to hear.  But it’s a big part of staying happily married. Let’s face it — all healthy relationships involve the art of compromise.  For this to work, however, you need first and foremost to respect your partner’s opinions and desires.  In effect you need to be honest in considering his or her position.

 

If you have a difficult time compromising, don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions about his feelings and point of view.  The more you know, the better you can become at the art of compromising.  And you never know, it might not hurt as much as you think!

 

Step #5:

Accept Your Partner’s Flaws

One of the major keys to success in resolving any conflict in a relationship is to recognize you must start from where you are — and where your partner is as well.

 

By this, I mean it does you no good to wish your partner were perfect.  He isn’t.  And neither are you! (I’m sure this last fact surprises you!)

 

Until you accept the compromise, the resolution of the problem will be difficult.  You’ll be spending your time trying to change your partner instead of searching for an effective compromise.

 

Resolving your problem doesn’t mean you’re trying to change the other person.  It means you’re searching for common ground.  You are, in effect, negotiating ways to discover common good between the two of you. You’re looking for an answer that satisfied both of you — and this keeps your relationship humming smoothly.

 

Good Luck!

 

Chapter

9

Secret #7:

 The Incredible Power of Forgiveness

 

This chapter deals with the importance of forgiveness in keeping your marriage intact.  You’d be amazed at how this simple act can be so beneficial

 

Melinda beamed when she saw Joan that day. 

 

“I can’t believe it.  I feel like a newlywed again.  How can I ever thank you?”

 

“No need,” Joan replied.  “But I do want to offer you one word to think about as your marriage is renewing itself.”

 

“Oh?”  Joan’s advice had been so remarkably helpful, Melinda was eager to hear what this could possibly be.

 

“It’s very effective, but it’s also very difficult to pull off.  But it’s made all the difference in my marriage.”

 

Now, Melinda was on pins and needles, wondering what it could be.

 

W

hat was the single word that Joan offered her friend?  Forgive.  That’s right.  If partners are strong enough . . . flexible enough . . . and open-minded enough to forgive transgressions of all kinds, their relationship has “forever potential.”

 

Oh, yes, no one said that it was going to be easy.  Forgiving a person is difficult if the incident that hurt you is relatively small.  The ability to forgive someone for larger mistakes — even being unfaithful — can be nearly impossible.

 

No wonder the adage remains with us to this day: “To err is human; to forgive divine.”  Sometimes it seems as if it would take a saint to forgive the actions of your partner.

 

It’s ironic, isn’t it?  What you need most for a marriage is a “safe harbor.”  This is a place where you not only feel as if you can be yourself, but you are buffeted from the damaging winds of pain and hurt.

 

Indeed, a marriage is that.  But it also is a relationship in which you risk the most.  You are the most vulnerable to pain and injury in this relationship than any other you may have.

 

If you’ve been married for a while, you already know what I mean.  No doubt, you’ve already been hurt in some way.  You understand that feeling of vulnerability.

 

In fact, any number of actions in such a close relationship like a marriage can cause you — or your partner — pain.  Sometimes you may even unwittingly hurt the other.

 

Researchers now believe that those individuals who have the natural desire to forgive stand the best chance at experiencing a long and loving relationship.  That “desire to forgive,” by the way, stems from a deep abiding feeling of being fully accepted.

Forgiveness:

It’s a Decision

That may come as a surprise to some.  But read that subhead again.  Forgiveness is really a decision on your part.  It’s a self conscious choice you make to relinquish a perceived right to get even or hold in debt someone who you believed has wronged you.

 

Think of forgiveness as a canceled debt.  But more than that you need to pare this word down to its simplest form: forgive.  And in this form, it’s a verb — an action verb at that.

 

When either person in the relationship can’t or won’t forgive, it impairs your functioning as a team.  The unforgiven partner is kept down, so to speak, by continually being indebted to the other.

 

Who do you really hurt when you can’t forgive your partner? Yes, you do hurt your partner.  But, believe it or not, you’re also hurting yourself as well.

 

The Effects of Not Forgiving!

 

Your unwillingness or inability to release the resentment and bitterness places you at a greater risk for a variety of psychological and physical ailments, the least of which are depression, high blood pressure, ulcers and more.

 

And that’s not even mentioning that an unforgiving attitude only increases your chances of divorce.

 

Now before we go any further, we have to clear up one more item.  It has to do with another cliché that’s always bandied about.  And that’s the statement: Forgive and forget.

 

Don’t believe for a moment that because you have forgiven your partner, you’ll be able to forget the incident.  Our minds just don’t work this way.

 

Many people have it engrained in their minds that this is just how it should occur.  Consequently, they feel that since they can’t forget the incident, they haven’t forgiven their partner.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Even when you forgive, remembering the incident may still inflict pain on you.  Experts on relationships call this “pain grief”.  And it’s really not such a surprising term to use.

 

Your pain — or grief — over the situation reflects your reaction to an irreplaceable loss.  This is a natural reaction and in no way means you haven’t forgiven your partner or cannot forgive him or her.

 

 

What About Responsibility?

Many individuals equate forgiveness with the art of absolving their partner of responsibility for his or her actions.  No, that is far from the truth.  Your ability to forgive your partner has no bearing on his or her assuming responsibility for the transgression.

 

Quite the contrary.  Once the person actually takes full responsibility for the act, you’ll discover that forgiving him is much easier than you thought.  And then your relationship can move forward.

 

Before we go any further in this discussion, let’s clarify one thing.  Taking responsibility for your actions is not the same thing as explaining your actions.

May individuals attempt to merely explain their actions away.  “I did it because . . .” This type of behavior merely attempts to rationalize their transgression.  That indeed may be why you did it, but that neither excuses the act nor does it make it right.  It’s far better to just suck it up as they say and admit the mistake.

 

It’s important in the discussion to separate the act of punishment from the consequences of the act (This forgiveness stuff gets a bit complicated, so bear with me!)  You can forgive your partner and not seek to either punish nor hurt him.  But he still accepts the consequences of his actions.  The consequences are never going to leave.

 

But let’s say you hurt your partner and he’s forgiven you.  Perhaps you forgot a special day in his life.  Even though he’s forgiven you, you can actually take responsibility for your behavior by making amends.

 

How?  By making a romantic candlelight dinner for two . . . surprising her with her favorite flowers . . treating your mate to a special night out.

 

This may sound easy on paper, but making amends actually requires humility on your part.  If you perform the action sincerely, then it shows you’ve accepted responsibility.  It’s much easier said than done.  But it is so worth the act of putting your ego aside.

 

But My Spouse

Isn’t Taking Responsibility!

Restoration of the relationship on some level usually follows the act of forgiveness.  It may take time, but it eventually occurs.  But that’s predicated on the fact that your partner is owning up to his or her responsibility.

 

Ah! We’re talking about a perfect world, you’re probably thinking right now.  You haven’t met my spouse.  What happens if he or she doesn’t own up to that responsibility?  Do I allow our relationship to continue as if nothing was wrong?

 

Excellent question.  And one many couples face on a daily basis.  Generally speaking, when this happens you’re encountering one of two situations.

 

It could be that your spouse’s intention was never to hurt you, but you were hurt anyway.  In this scenario you’re facing a sincere difference in interpretation of events — as well as a difference in why they occurred.

 

In some cases negative interpretations of the transgression may be powerfully overwhelming as to erect a permanent barrier to restoring your relationship.  To put it in plain English, you aren’t buying into the possibility that the act was just an honest mistake.

 

But it’s possible to forgive and forge ahead with your relationship whether or not you agree on the nature or severity of the infraction.  The person committing the act may view it as a small mistake — washing an expensive jacket instead of taking it to the dry cleaners for example and ruining the piece of clothing.

 

But the spouse has placed such a negative spin, with self-created ulterior motives for the action, that she refuses to understand his sincere intention. She also refuses to forgive him.

 

If it’s your jacket that was ruined, you need to move past that negative spin and forgive.  That, of course, doesn’t mean you’re not going to grieve for its loss.  Of course, you will.  But for the sake of your marriage, it’s far better to forgive.

 

The second type of situation you may encounter is more difficult to navigate. Clearly, your spouse committed a rather large transgression.  He’s refusing to admit responsibility for it. For the future of the relationship he must admit responsibility.

 

In this case, you have a large decision to make.  Will you forgive him anyway?  How will it affect the future of your relationship?  Can you even have a relationship with this?  Don’t let anyone tell you differently. This is a difficult and agonizing decision.

 

Once That Trust Is Broken . . .

Forgiving is really only the starting point of rebuilding a solid relationship — albeit a vital first step.  The second issue that must be dealt with is trust.  Let’s say your spouse had an affair.  You’ve forgiven him or her and you want to try to make the marriage work.  But you have nagging doubts.  Can you trust your partner?

 

You can, but admittedly it’s not easy.  It will require some time and effort.  In addition, you’ll need to keep some key points in mind during the “rebuilding” process.

 

Rebuilding trust does, indeed, take time.  Trust only is re-established as you believe your spouse really is there for you, so to speak.  And the more he is “there” as time goes by, the deeper the trust grows.

 

Some individuals are just naturally more trusting than others.  The length of time it actually takes to reach a level of trust again depends on the attitude and personalities of the individual partners.

 

If you’re the spouse who is trying to win back the trust, then the ball is in your court, as they say.  You’ll need to do everything within your power to show your sincerity and dedication to your partner.  The good news is that you have a lot of control over the situation.  And that includes not making the same mistake twice.

 

The chances of restoring trust are far greater when the transgressor — the person who committed the mistake — steps up to take full responsibility for his or her actions.

 

We’ve already talked about the very important role taking responsibility has in all of this. Your partner will be able to detect your sincerity and your desire to continue the relationship.

 

Don’t Hang The Mistake

Over Your Spouse’s Head

 

In Nathanial Hawthorne’s book, “The Scarlet Letter”, a young woman who committed adultery must wear a scarlet “A” on all her clothing.  This is her punishment. It also reminds the community — as well as herself — of her transgressions.  With such a wardrobe, it’s difficult to let go of the act, so forgiving the act becomes even harder.

 

In many marriages one spouse makes the other wear his mistake. Of course, not literally but figuratively.  How?  By bringing up the subject every time they argue.  If the topic of his affair or any other transgression is flung in his or her face each time they argue, it’s difficult to heal!

 

Always remember that trust is ultimately a choice we make.  It’s true!  You make a conscious decision following a betrayal to trust your spouse.  In effect, you’re taking a leap of faith.

 

The truth of the matter is that trust — in any relationship — is a decision.  In a union that hasn’t been scarred or damaged by pain, though, trust seems much like a decision and more like a given fact.  It’s just a part of the expectations of relationships.

 

Prescription For A Healthy Marriage:

A Daily Dose of Forgiveness

Think about it.  Forgiveness really does need to be a daily part of your relationship.  And it very well could be without your even realizing it.

 

In a partnership as intimate as a marriage, infractions are bound to happen on a regular basis — if not daily.  Life happens, tempers erupt, and mistakes are made as you try your best to get through the day.

 

The couples, though, that create a climate of trust over an extended period of time are those who are willing to forgive each other.  Sometimes it’s a conscious decision.  At other times, the forgiveness just flows naturally from the moment.

 

This Forgiveness Talk

Is Great, But . . .

Let’s be realistic.  Sometimes we all need a little help forgiving.  You just don’t wave a magic wand over your spouse, spout out the magic word, Abracadabra, and feel instant forgiveness.

 

But there are steps you can take to guide you along the path to forgiveness.  Some couples find it helpful to have a more structured approach to forgiving.

 

Below are a series of steps you might attempt in order to achieve this state.  Don’t expect to glide through these steps though in a quick 20-minute session.  And you may discover you have to double back as you go through these steps.  Take your time.  This process is that important.

 

The first step involves setting aside a specific time to discuss the issue.  Choose a time in which you’ll not be distracted.  Be prepared to talk openly and honestly about it.

 

Create An Agenda

 

You’ll need to set an agenda for your discussion.  The top order of business is to clearly identify the problem. You both need to agree that you’re ready to actually discuss it — and to discuss it at this moment.  If not, it’s better to wait to talk about the issue at a later time.

 

In the third step of the process, you need to examine the pain and concerns around the problem.

 

This involves an open validating discussion about exactly what occurred.  Don’t continue to this step unless you’re willing to not only listen to your partner’s viewpoint, but respect it as well.  Remember you’re doing very important work.  You’re laying the foundation for forgiveness.

 

A validating discussion helps tremendously in bringing couples together following a painful vent.

 

After this, the offender asks for forgiveness.  Not only is it the right and appropriate action to take at this time, but it’s very healing as well.  In addition to asking for forgiveness, apologizing at the same time (sincerely, of course) is a powerful step to take.

 

These two actions are big steps toward taking responsibility for how you’ve hurt your spouse.

 

If all goes well, the person is granted forgiveness.  For small transgressions, this step may not even be necessary.  But it’s essential for large, significant actions.  Making the intent explicit — saying it out loud — and speaking it to the person is of utmost importance.

 

This helps you both to put the past behind you.  By stating your forgiveness out loud, you’re also implicitly saying it won’t crop up in arguments again!

 

This commitment step is really just the start of the process.  It’ll take time for the pain of this to fade.  But the important point here is that you’re working toward restoring your relationship.

 

If necessary, the individual partner who committed the offense offers to change the patterns or attitudes that gave rise to the incident in the first place.

 

If the nature of the mistake can be viewed as part of a pattern, then the person needs to work at changing the pattern.  This is something that the two you will need to decide together.

 

In addition, the person who is responsible for the offense may want to make amends through positive acts — giving flowers, a night out, or a special romantic meal.

 

Making Amends

 

But for this to work, the person who is making amends must do it with the proper attitude.  You don’t make this peace offering because you owe your partner anything.  You make amends as a gesture of good will.

 

As you go through these steps remember that all of this takes times. The steps we’ve reviewed will help your move towards a restoration of your relationship.  But they aren’t the final words in the process.

 

Each person heals in his or her own way and over a time period of his own creation.  The steps presented won’t guarantee a restoration of your relationship, but they provide you with the necessary framework within which you can work.

 

Conclusion

 

The seven secrets to saving your marriage presented here provide you with a comprehensive guideline to steer you toward a more stable, happier and healthier relationship.

 

If you find yourself at odds with your partner or spouse more often than not, then you owe it to yourself — and your partner — to do everything within your power before deciding the union isn’t worth saving.

 

Putting these secrets into action aren’t going to be easy.  But, the effort you put into these steps will be well worth it.  Whatever you do, don’t try to hurry through these secrets.  And don’t think you necessarily have to use them in order.

 

You’ll know — by the specific events in your relationship — when to use the appropriate secret. It may very well be that the first time around a secret will not work for you.  That’s when you drop it, and circle round to something else.  You may decide at some point to return to that specific secret and find it works.

 

Take your time.  Your union with your spouse is far too important to just toss aside at the first sign of trouble.  Your marriage is definitely worth fighting for.

 

 

 

 

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Master Your Android Device

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Cardio Trainer

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Cardio Trainer that’s New Scientifically Proven Macro-Patterning Method Lets You Eat LOTS of Carbs and NEVER Store Them As Fat – all While You “FIX” Your Broken Metabolism To Achieve RAPID Fat Loss WITHOUTThe Pain, Suffering and Drudgery of EVER “Dieting” Again

A Breakthrough Article by Shaun Hadsall, CPT – Fat Loss Expert

In exactly 7 short days you will prime your body to strip
your stubborn fat FASTER and EASIER than you’ve ever imagined.

You’ll finally get the body you want with certainty and speed – all while ignoring ridiculous low carb fad diets with proven Carb Cycling strategies –
even if you have “bad” genetics.

Dear friend,

If you’re anything like me and the millions of other people out there who have ever had to deal with the pain and suffering that’s associated with dieting down, then you probably realize that fad diets can make you miserable.

I’ve never met ANYONE who actually enjoys the process of constantly obsessing over food or being irritable and cranky because they’re cutting carbs or counting calories all the time.

That’s because we all know that dieting down or going on a low carb crash diet can be BRUTAL.

It’s very rare I meet someone who wants to constantly obsess over food and always be cranky in a bad mood because they’re dieting down or counting calories all the time.

I think you’d probably agree that it gets old – FAST.

 

Weight Loss Fact: Dieting Down = Pain

It’s just human nature for most of us. We automatically associate the word “dieting” with pain and we instantly link our favorite cheat foods with pleasure.

When you’re dieting down or low carbing to lose weight there is no doubt you’re going to give up a lot of enjoyment in your life, so there’s naturally going to be quite a few painful consequences.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

This is what SUCKS about diets.

And it’s because of these obvious reasons that we automatically associate misery and undesirable sacrifices with losing weight and burning fat.

Even if you’re one of the millions of people that has radically damaged and altered your metabolism from years of inconsistency, eating unhealthy or yo-yo dieting…

It’s Really NOT Your Fault…

The truth is that although there are thousands of weight loss plans that work, they’re specifically designed to be temporary. A short cut. A quick fix. That’s studies have shown over and over again that 95% of people who “diet” gain all (or more) of the weight back within one year of losing it.

But – what if there was a way to make fat loss easier to stick with and enjoy?

What if you could strategically eat carbs and cheat foods as your best fat burning friend and rid diets from your life – forever?

Well I have some great news for you. You can.

Believe it or not, you, me, everyone has astounding fat burning potential just waiting to be tapped.

It’s NOT about genetic superiority or luck of the draw.

 

What it’s really about is uncovering the SECRET to carb cycling the easy way…then you’ll be able to chow down on as much pasta, pancakes, breads, ice cream, cakes, cookies, or ANY other carbs you love to eat.

 

So sit back, relax, and dig in – because you’re about to discover an enjoyable solution that I use to stay at single digit body fat levels 365 days a year – WITHOUT “dieting”.

The Greatest Diet Dilemma of All Time:

 Conquering The “Adaptive Response”

(Don’t know what that is? Keep reading and you’ll discover this
unknown and under-the-radar method.)

Believe it or not, it only takes about 3 or 4 days of aggressive dieting before your metabolism dramatically slows down and your fat burning hormones turn off like a light switch?

That’s because your body sees fat like a retirement plan. It wants to “hang on” to all the fat so it can survive. You see, your body is SUPER smart and it can “adapt” VERY quickly to dieting patterns.

Programming your metabolism to defeat the “adaptive response” is critical if you want to learn how to stay lean 365 days of the year.

This Adaptive Response can be your #1 diet enemy if you’re not careful.

PLUS, conventional diet plans simply never address the metabolic and hormonal obstacles that force the majority of us to run smack into a wall and hit the dreaded weight loss plateau.

It’s absolute madness if you think about it.
We SACRIFICE our precious time and energy – bust our butt to follow a plan only to gain the weight back the second we try to live a normal life again. Or even worse yet – we could possibly end up heavier than when we originally started.

That’s why overcoming the dreaded dieter’s plateau is the single BIGGEST obstacle preventing you from getting the body of your dreams.

 

The Harsh Reality:  Conventional Weight
Loss And Crash Diets DESTROY Your Metabolism

To survive, your body has to keep the amount of energy it takes in and the amount of energy it burns off in balance. The secret to conquering fast fat loss is to manipulate where your body gets its energy, and trick it into using fat as its energy source.

Remember, the minute your body thinks you’re on a diet it will do anything and everything it can to hold on to as much fat as possible because it knows you’re going into starvation mode.

Your brain will send the rest of your body a signal to conserve energy for the coming dry spell. That means it shuts down body temperature, reduces the absorption rate of food, and dramatically slows down your metabolism, all with the intention of storing more fat so it will have plenty of energy “just in case.”

Not only does this radically alter and damage your metabolism – you’ll most likely end up constantly irritated or angry because you’ll feel so restricted. Then, if you’re like most people, you’ll end up binging yourself into oblivion and wiping out all of your focused efforts.

Can you say – INSANITY?

Carbs: Fat Burning Friend OR Foe?

Additionally, if you just cut carbs you can sabotage the positive effects they can have on increasing your metabolic rate and accelerating your fat loss.

For example, you may or may not know that carbs are muscle sparing. In other words they preserve and prevent the breakdown of lean calorie burning muscle tissue. They even provide consistent energy to your body and help spark your metabolism to keep it elevated.

Carbs also stimulate the production of insulin, a very powerful hormone which leads to a very anabolic/muscle building environment.

In other words, we NEED carbs to increase fat-burning, maintain a healthy metabolism and AVOID rebound weight gain.

However, ALL of this is a fat loss “Catch 22” because…

When you consume carbs and spike insulin levels and/or blood sugar, you’ll actually block your body from burning fat.

Simply put, it’s impossible to burn body fat when
you consume carbs the wrong way.

Also, if you’re eating carbs at the wrong times and in the wrong amounts it can lead to excess fat spillover, which then leads to massive fat storage.

Additionally, for EVERY gram of carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis, your body holds onto almost 3 grams of extra water. Read that last sentence once again so it sinks in please.

This means if you decide to use a trendy low carb plan or some other aggressive diet, the scale might trick you into thinking that you’re losing a bunch of weight…and you are. BUT – it’s water weight and possibly even precious muscle tissue, NOT fat.

In other words;

You’re just dropping a bunch of water and muscle.

That’s why improper carb intake can also create a lot of water retention, giving your muscle tone an undesirable soft and bloated look.

And finally, many of the carbs we consume hide nasty fillers and chemicals that can potentially lead to dangerous health conditions (think obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.), which creates a fat storing environment inside your body. We call these hidden chemicals obesity additives.

But fortunately, way back in March of 2008 I finally discovered a legitimate solution to this double edged fat loss sword — and now YOU get to benefit.

 

The Secret To FIXING Slow Fat Loss:
Macro-Patterning™

I had just dieted down and low-carbed myself to deathlike I always HAD to do, so I could get lean enough to get some new fitness modeling photos taken. It had been 10 years since I placed 1st Runner-Up in the world’s largest body transformation contest; Body for LIFE™.

I set out to prove to a lot of naysayers wrong.

I wanted to show everybody that it’s possible to stay under 10% body fat year round while only exercising 4 -5 hours a week – and I’m proud to say I achieved my goal…

BUT…I finally got fed up on cutting carbs and calories, suffering my way through restrictive food choices day after day and missing out on all the parties and fun just so I could stay lean.

It was like my whole life revolved around my diet and food choices.

I was always in a bad mood and felt like I was losing my grip on the entire purpose of being lean and healthy. Sound familiar?

It seemed like this way of living was completely unsustainable.

I started to feel like I was obsessed during times when I had to do media appearances or photo shoots and I got really tired of family and friends ragging on me for eating clean all the time. I knew there HAD to be a better way to get fit and stay lean.

So even though I had appeared in national fitness magazines, been featured on radio shows and TV stations like ESPN, was voted America’s “Most-Fit” Health & Fitness Pro in 2008, and went on to own and operate a world’s top 10 personal training studio…

as seen on

After 11 Years of being “In the Trenches” as a Fitness Pro – I Was STILL Stuck in the Same Exact Vicious Weight Loss Cycle as Everybody Else…

So I went on a relentless rampage of research.

For over eight years I was like a mad scientist who was determined to find a long term solution. Finally, after spending thousands of dollars and several hundred hours of experimenting, fine tuning, and refining, I discovered how remarkably simple the entire process of staying lean can be.

I was finally able to end the pain and suffering of “dieting down” once and for all.

Introducing Macro-Patterning™: A simple answer to a painful problem.

 

Carb Cycling: Your Rapid Fat Loss Solution

In order to take advantage of all the metabolic enhancing effects of carbs while avoiding their nasty fat storing properties, you have to incorporate some simple metabolic trickery…

Simply put, Macro-Patterning™ is a simple way for you to outsmart your metabolism by using various types of lower carb and deplete days in a strategic sequence during the week to burn more fat – while using a variety of higher carb and cheat days on other targeted days of your week to simultaneously keep your metabolism humming along.

This is the secret to helping you continuously overcome the “Adaptive Response” that stops you from losing weight.

And by using this strategy and approach, you’ll keep ALL your fat burning hormones happy so you’re maintaining a fat burning environment day in and day out 24/7.

In fact, just one of the carb cycling tricks I uncovered with Macro-Patterning™ has already helped thousands of people lose anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds in only one week. That’s not a typo…OR hype.

Don’t think it’s possible? Then don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what real students and users of Macro-Patterning™ have to say about it.

 

“After battling cancer and being forced into menopause at an early age, I found it increasingly difficult to lose weight. For the first time in my life I started to accumulate lower and upper stomach fat. Shaun assured me it was hormonal and that Macro-Patterning combined with the proper exercise strategy could potentially help fix it.

As you can see by my pictures, it worked. By learning how to cycle my carbs in conjunction with exercise I was able to lose 23 pounds of fat in less than 10 weeks. What I like best about this plan is that I’m still able to enjoy my weekend wine and cheat food without set backs. I truly enjoy living this way. Thanks to the 4 Cycle Solution I can still maintain control over my hormones even though I’m in my fifties now.”

Karen Brenneman-Hadsall

 

I recently finished The 4 Cycle Solution and the results were INCREDIBLE!
Out of all the plans I’ve ever done, it’s been the easiest to follow and I loved the variety. Plus it’s the only plan I’ve come across that incorporates alcohol into it, a huge benefit for sure.

In fact, I was supposed to go on a trip to Mexico at the end of July but felt so disgusted with myself that I didn’t even want to go. But after 3 weeks of being on the 4CS program I changed my mind because the results were so incredible! The best part is the flexibility. There were a few times where I fell off track and ate way too much on a cheat day, but it didn’t matter. The results just kept coming because of macro-patterning.

I am now on my second run through the 4 Cycles and I have NEVER felt this good before. This is definitely something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for all you’ve done, and all you continue to do to help us all with our nutrition and exercise. You’ve truly changed my life.

Bryson Humphrey
Vancouver, British Columbia

 

colleen beforecolleen after

“After being stuck at the same weight for over a year straight I there was no hope. Then I was introduced to Shaun and decided to try the macro-patterning system for 14 days. The results were amazing so I decided to get a little more serious and tried Shaun’s 7 Day Diet. I lost ten pounds in less than 7 days and I was hooked! Everything is laid out and there’s no guesswork. I now have more time for my family and myself and look forward to my cheat days.

I highly recommend the 4 Cycle Solution to everyone. It’s easy to follow and there’s no way I’ll ever stop this way of eating and living. It makes me a better wife, a better mom, and a better friend because I have a structured plan to follow. Shaun has shown me a proven system and I tell everyone about this amazing gift he has given me. Thanks Shaun!”

Colleen Kashawlic
Recreation Coordinator and Super Mom

And believe it or not, even local celebrities and some of the world’s most advanced fitness pros have experienced the Macro-Patterning™ Difference.

“Ever since I reached my late thirties it felt like my metabolism was going out. I didn’t seem to get the same results I used to even though I could still physically push myself when I exercised. I started to slowly gain a lot of belly fat even though I still made healthy food choices at most of my meals.

Then I met Shaun and he introduced my to 4 Cycle Solution and food macro-patterning. It only took a few very small changes in the way I timed and combined my meals to make a difference.

For the first time ever I feel like I have total control of my metabolism. I’ve even had to buy all new suits for all my appearances on the local news! Thanks to Shaun’s program, I’ve lost over 30 pounds in less than 12 weeks.”

Vic Faust

:Boot Camp for a Cause:erinnicole_Pistons.jpg“As a news reporter and local celebrity, I’ve always realized how important it is for me to stay fit and healthy, but I never experienced the physical or
mental benefits I was looking for until I met Shaun and found the 4 Cycle Solution.

This healthy way of living really has been a life changing experience for me. I’m down 3 inches in my hips in only a few short weeks and I finally found a realistic way of eating and how to save time when I exercise.

I’m up everyday at 3am getting ready for the morning news, so I’ve always thought the fitness lifestyle was impossible with my hectic schedule, but not anymore. It feels great to get up every morning and feel so confident about myself when I appear on local television.

My passion continues to grow everyday for this way of living. I highly recommend 4 Cycle Solution and Shaun’s program to everybody I talk to.

Thank you for helping me change my body and my life!

Erin Nicole
WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit Traffic & Entertainment Reporter
Detroit Pistons Arena Announcer

ara arellanoI just came across your amazing blog and unique way of carb cycling and exercising! All I have to say is “wow”. Thanks for offering so much valuable and applicable info!

As a mom, nutritionist, trainer and fitness pro athlete…I love to continue learning and changing my approach to cardio, weight training and especially diet. You’ve shocked my thinking on many of these levels! Even though I’ve been competing for a while and always did carb cycling and cardio intervals, I never took it to the level of Macro-Patterning and Metabolic Bursting!

If anything, I think my thyroid began to slow and my hormones have been suppressed due to constant low carb competition diet, and I wasn’t mixing up cardio enough like you teach with your sequencing and bursting. I immediately started applying your techniques and I absolutely love this approach!

Thanks for both your giving hearts!

Have a blessed day,
Tara Arellano

Fitness America Pro Athlete

P.S. I placed top 5 in the world in the Fitness America contest last year. I’m looking forward to using your Macro-Patterning™ and exercise strategies to help me shoot for a win this year!

The BEST Part: No More Diet Plateaus

So if you really want to end rebound weight gain once and for all and you’re tired of suffering through restrictive crash diets that ruin your metabolism, you’re not alone.

Simply put, the 4 Cycle Solution will give you the flexibility to eat the foods that you love while strategically using carbs, and all your favorite cheat foods, as way to rapidly speed up your metabolic rate, preserve lean muscle tissue, and burn an INSANE amount of fat – all while giving you unstoppable energy.

And today you’re going to uncover the research-proven Macro-Patterning™ tactics and results driven carb cycling meal plans that will melt ugly fat off your body WITHOUT making you feel like your missing out on all the fun things in life.

That’s the real carb cycling advantage – Sanity.

It’s all about the 4 proven cycles of fat loss.

 

 

 

Cycle 1:
7 Day Carb Depletion

This is by far the most powerful strategy of the 4 Cycle Solution because it reprograms and fixes your broken metabolism to teach it where fat stores are available for energy needs.

The 7 Day Depletion Cycle also serves several other essential metabolic purposes.

    • First, you’ll learn exactly how to make fat your “go to” energy source.
    • Second, it’s by far the quickest way for you to drain the body of carbohydrate stores and/or muscle glycogen to achieve the fastest fat loss possible.
    • Third, it shuts off your body’s dependence on sugars, which further accelerates the break down of ugly fat.
    • Fourth, it helps you aggressively control and stabilize blood sugar for even more rapid fat loss.
      Additionally – and most importantly – it actually “sets up” all your metabolic triggers and fat burning hormones for the carb cycling lifestyle.

Expect to lose anywhere between 5 and 15 pounds during this first 7 days.

      Warning: Do not skip this cycle.
      This jumpstart is

essential

      for your success because it serves as the springboard that will move you through the next three cycles. And you’ll

look

      and

feel

      a lot leaner in just the first few days.

Cycle 2:
Macro-Patterning™

This is where the rubber meets the road – and where your metabolism learns how to LOVE burning fat and carbs as fuel sources on a daily ongoing and reoccurring basis.

The first cycle is designed as a catalyst to make sure your metabolism is programmed and ready to go grab fat when we ask it to. And now that your body is already experiencing rapid fat loss, it’s time for Macro-Patterning™.

It’s your “official” new way of living the fat burning lifestyle. You’ll start using all the foods you love to help dramatically accelerate your fat loss and you’ll finally crack the fat loss code once and for all. No more plateaus. No more metabolic slow down. No more suffering from adaptation.

You’ll follow a simple “turn-key” system to manipulate macronutrients (food) so you can automatically maintain a fat burning environment round the clock.

Cycle 3:
Accelerated Fat Loss

Now that you’ve made the leap and you understand how easy it is to Macro-Pattern, it’s time to pick up the pace a little and manipulate your metabolism even further with the Accelerated Fat Loss Cycle.

Even though this may be your first time Macro-Patterning™ your body is smart – super smart – so it’s very good at adapting.

The Accelerated Fat Loss Cycle is the first nutrition cycle ever that’s specifically designed to overcome every type of adaptive response the body has to stop you from losing weight.

This tried and true meal plan will teach you how to easily control energy stores so you can stay on the fat loss fast track.

Cycle 4:
The Diet Break

Now it’s time to put your fat loss on cruise control.

By this point you’ll have “overcame” every adaptive response related to burning stubborn body fat and you’ll know how easy it can be to force your body to use fat as your primary energy source.

O nce you’ve moved through the first 3 cycles you’ll have a completely different relationship with food and the way you approach eating for health and fat loss will be changed forever.

You’ll stay lean for life while enjoying happy hour every Friday and uncover how to cheat your way through the weekend while maintaining (and sometimes even accelerating) the fat loss process.

Just think how awesome it would feel to wake up every Monday morning feeling leaner and lighter.

As you can see, the 4 Cycle Solution is a powerful fat loss formula that you can live with day after day, week after week, month after month to outsmart your metabolism and conquer diet plateaus once and for all.

 

The Complete 4 Cycle Solution Carb Cycling System

Component 1: The 7 Day Carb Depletion Diet [Cycle 1]
($97 Value)

Get ready to experience some serious jaw dropping weight loss results in only seven short days. This is where you’ll teach your body to “go get fat” and use it first, not last. You will be the teacher, and the body will be your student.

Following this simple nutrition manual is crucial for both your short term and long term success because it’s the momentum that will keep you moving forward – just like being on auto-pilot.

You’ll get precise details on how to prime your body for the carb cycling lifestyle. The exact food choices, precise combinations, proper timing, and even portion control guidelines are laid out step-by-step along with detailed descriptions to keep you on the fast track.

Nothing is left out.

Component 2: The 7 Day Carb Depletion Diet Exercise Guide
($97 Value)

The 7 Day Carb Depletion Exercise Guide is specifically designed to help you DOUBLE the results of the 7 Day Carb Depletion Diet.

These workouts are set up to rapidly deplete glycogen and increase natural output of Growth Hormone to help make each day of the first week even MORE effective.

You heard it right: Now you can enhance the certainty and speed of the 7 Day Carb Depletion Diet with an exercise guide that works in synergy with your hormonal environment to set you up for your FASTEST week of fat loss – ever.

You’ll quickly discover how synergistically using specific exercise strategies while you carb deplete can create some insane fat-loss.

Component 3: Macro-Patterning [Cycle 2] ($197 Value)

This nutrition manual is where the plan starts to get really fun because we add many of your favorite foods strategically back into your plan. You’ll discover exactly how to eat your favorite carbs to spark your metabolism and elevate your fat-burning hormones to KEEP your body burning fat day in and day out.

You’ll have easy to monitor food codes and simple follow along rules and guidelines for every meal on every day of the plan.

We even provide substitution lists to replace the foods you hate with foods you love. Everything is laid out for you day by day including the infamous cheat day.

I charge $249 here at my office in Michigan just to sit down and go over this information in person, so when I say this is a huge bargain, I truly mean it.

 

Component 4: Accelerated Fat Loss [Cycle 3] ($97 Value)

We all want comfort and security and the body is no different. To keep your body on its toes, we have to shock it and manipulate it even further. That’s what the Accelerated Fat Loss Cycle is all about.

This nutrition manual will show you exactly how to protect and support muscle tissue, control insulin and blood sugar, manipulate energy stores, produce heat, and create a massive energy deficit.

These are the “keys” to unlocking your true fat burning potential and that’s what the Accelerated Fat Loss cycle brings to the table.

Component 5: “The Diet Break” [Cycle 4] ($97 Value)

Welcome to the rest of your life.

Cycle 4 will give you an arsenal of important metabolic factors to keep your body responding. First, it creates a brand new set point for your body to maintain the new lighter you. Second, you’ll teach your body how to reset itself back to a higher nutrient profile in favor of more carbs and fats.

Third, you’ll discover how to use this cycle to take a “diet break” so you maintain a healthy metabolism that wants to burn fat for the long haul.

NO more dieting.

Component 6: Success Guide & Food Journal ($47 Value)

I’ve never met anyone who is successful at long term fat loss without keeping some type of written food journal. It’s a time tested proven fact that will never change.

EVERY person I’ve worked with and coached who has a made a dramatic change to their body has done this. I’ve even included “built in” time management and productivity tools to improve your experience as you move through the 4 proven cycles. This guide literally makes the whole body transforming experience “turn-key”.

 

Component 7: Supplementation Guide ($27 Value)

In this manual I break down the most effective supplementation strategy to use in combination with the 4 Cycle Solution to increase its effectiveness and make it easier to adhere to.

Supplements are not mandatory to use this program, but this guide will ensure you’re able to fill in the missing gaps when “life happens” and you get too busy. Just a few basic recommendations can make a world of difference in your plan. I’ll give you my 20+ years of experience and reveal how to make your nutrition and exercise work in synergy with proper supplementation. No hype. Just straight up facts on the best supplements to use for long term fat loss and health.

Component 8: Instant mp3 Audio Fat Loss Motivation & Time Management ($27 Value)

This instant audio download solves the #1 reason (or excuse) people use for not exercising or sticking to a nutrition plan. Motivation and time.  When it comes to fat loss, everyone I know struggles with motivation and time management. And since every one of us is wired differently, that means we all need strategies that are unique to our own personalities. That’s why this audio gives you a smorgasbord of strategies to stay motivated and be more productive with your time 365 days of the year.

Never again will you have to use the “I’m just not motivated enough” or the “I don’t have time” to eat right and exercise excuse. Just pick the strategies that match your personality and you’ll be more driven and consistent that you ever thought possible.

Component 9: Quick Start Kit & Pre-Planning Checklist
($97 Value)

I know this an old cliché, but if you fail to plan – then you plan to fail. You’ll never follow through and achieve your goals unless you have a step-by-step checklist to prepare everything ahead of time before the big start day. That’s why I put this component first. It will guarantee that everything is perfectly in place for you to stay on track right out of the gate.

It’s just how we’re “wired” physically AND mentally. When the mind is prepared and ready, the body will automatically follow.

Once you’ve checked everything off your quick start kit and pre-planning checklist they’ll be no stopping you.

And this is only the beginning.

And right now, you have the opportunity to get your hands on the entire 9-component, $783 package for a single one time heavily discounted payment of:

$97 $47

Click Here to Add to Cart!

Exclusive On-Line
Best-Seller Bonus Package
3 FREE Rapid Fat Loss Bonuses

($347 Value)

To celebrate the release of The 4 Cycle Solution, when you grab your copy you’ll also gain access to what I consider to be one of the most valuable bonus packages EVER.

Bonus #1: The ENTIRE 4 Cycle Solution course on video, which includes all 4 proven Macro-Patterning™ Cycles, to ensure you get a lightning fast start.

Bonus #2: The Food Timing Tricks for RAPID Fat-Loss guide, which promises to KEEP your body in a high energy, fat-burning environment 24/7 round the clock through super simple, yet unknown food timing tricks.

Bonus #3: The 7 Day Ab “Targeted” Cardio & Interval Solution. This protocol is custom designed to double the results of Cycle #1 – while making your stomach look flatter, tighter, and leaner in only one short week.

Again, for everyone who picks up the 4 Cycle Solution system, I’m going to GIVE you all three bonuses for FREE.

After this pre-sale, however, none of these bonuses will never be made available again, even to buy. The ONLY way you can gain access to them is by picking up The 4 Cycle Solution during this special release event.

I want to be crystal clear here and give you a friendly warning. This system and lifestyle is not another “quick fix” or “short cut”. If you’re looking for the easy way out, this program is NOT for you.

It’s a short AND long term solution that will allow you to melt off stubborn body fat like nobody’s business – all while eliminating the nagging headaches associated with traditional low carb and crash diets.

However, this program is not for lazy and unmotivated people. If that’s you then please move on.

But if you’re willing to put forth some consistent effort, then the 4 Cycle Solution is the breath of fresh air you’ve been looking for. Real results. Real fast.

And I almost forgot to mention one of the most important aspects of the 4 Cycle Solution. It has a built in mechanism for falling off track. In other words, when life happens and you mess up your plan for a couple days, you’ll be able to jump in right where you left off.

In other words, you just have to focus on being consistent, NOT perfect.

We’ve had hundreds of clients here locally and across the globe who love the fact that they can move around their carb cycling plan on-the-go without skipping a beat or suffering rebound weight gain.

Want to party for the weekend? We have you covered. Weekday work party or special event? NO problem. Strapped for time because you’re leaving for a vacation or a have a wedding? Just dig into Cycle 1 and get more aggressive.

A simple system to get the body you want. I did say “simple” – not easy. It can and will produce the mind blowing results you’re looking for, but – you still have to bring your game to the table. DEAL?

Then What?”

Then It’s ALL FREE.

Ok, it’s a fact that this system works. Otherwise there wouldn’t be hundreds of people who transformed their bodies first hand through the Macro-Patterning™ lifestyle.

But I also understand that you may still be a little “skeptical” which is completely normal. That’s why I want to do everything I can completely eliminate your skepticism.

That’s why I’m going to offer each and every person who orders our Iron Clad, 60 day 100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee:

So here’s the deal. If you follow the 4 Cycle Solution exactly as we’ve laid it out for you, and do NOT burn off more fat than you thought was possible to burn, while still enjoying everyday life, just contact us and we’ll refund every penny. It makes this deal a super simple no-brainer.

We guarantee this solution will change your body and your life, and if it doesn’t deliver on it’s promise after you follow it, you get all your money back. No funny stuff, no hassles, no hidden clauses. Just a prompt courteous refund.

Do You Remember What You Were Doing This Time Last Year?

I don’t know how old you are, but I do know this…

This past year went by faster than any other year in your life.

And guess what? The next year will go by even faster. Your life is accelerating. There’s no way we can slow it down. Ask your mom or dad how fast their lives are going by. It’s a blur.

And as you age, you evolve. You get smarter and more efficient. It’s called “wisdom.” But is your body evolving? Or is it aging and stagnant? Stuck in a rut or plateau?

If you’re like most dieters and exercisers out there, the older you get, the HARDER it becomes to get the body you want and the harder it becomes to burn fat.

It ends up being a vicious cycle and every day becomes more of the same fat loss frustration.

It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way!

All you need is a proven system to follow. The 4 Cycle Solution system NEVER fails.

I guess you could stumble on to something else that works. But will it really last?

Instead, why don’t you just:

1. Take a short cut and learn from all my stupid weight loss mistakes
2. Copy somebody who has been where you want to be
3. Start burning fat now with a proven solution that still allows you to enjoy everyday life
4. Get control over your body’s fat burning hormones and metabolism once and for all
5. Take away all your risk because your results are guaranteed

And that’s exactly what we’re going to show you how to do in with Macro-Patterning™ and the 4 Cycle Solution.

…you’ll also end up with a body that makes you proud, gives you confidence and increases your self esteem.

And you can keep the weight off all year round and become as lean as your genetics will allow…IF you have a proven solution. It really is ALL about the 4 Cycles of Fat Loss.

The next year is going to scream by even faster. In the year ahead you can finally take FULL control over your body, fit into those skinny jeans again, and live life with the body you always wanted…or you can just keep doing what you’ve always done…and keep getting what you’ve always got.

Your choice.
I can’t wait to hear your success story just like I have from so many others. Just think, you could be 7 pounds lighter in just 7 days from now.

With passion and enthusiasm,

Shaun Hadsall
Fat Loss Expert – Voted America’s “Most Fit” Health & Fitness Pro 2008
Body For LIFE™ Grand Champion 1st Runner-up

P.S. Don’t forget, with our Iron-Clad, 100% Money-Back Guarantee, we’re giving you a full 60 days to maximize your fat burning potential and discover what so many others have – a way to “outsmart” your metabolism and burn an INSANE amount of fat without the pain and suffering of dieting down.  Grab it right now, RISK-FREE.

P.P.S. Got Questions? We have answers!

Q. What is the 4 Cycle Solution and how does it work so fast?

The 4 Cycle Solution is proven carb-cycling system that moves you through four short cycles of fat loss by integrating Carb Down and Deplete Days along with Carb Up and Cheat Days to help you “outsmart” your metabolism and conquer any “diet” plateau while STILL enjoying all your favorite foods.

Macro-Patterning™and it reprograms your body and metabolic triggers so fat is ALWAYS your “go-to” energy source. Not only does this approach reset your fat burning hormones, but you’ll finally be able to avoid all the pain and suffering associated with low carb and crash diets.

And when you time your carbs strategically with the right exercise protocol you’ll know, for a fact, every time you go to put time and energy into your plan, you’ll be burning fat and creating the maximum synergistic effect between food and exercise.

Q: Will I have to deprive myself of my favorite foods and feel miserable from being carb depleted and calorie restricted all the time?

Absolutely NOT. In fact, you’ll be required to use your favorite cheat foods at least one or two days of EVERYweek as a primer to burn more fat. You heard it right. Your cheat days will actually reset your metabolism to be a super fat burner the other days of the week. This way you’ll be able to indulge without ever having to worry about falling off track or sabotaging your results.

Q: Do I have to worry about falling off track and gaining weight back once I lose it?

Not at all. Actually this program is specifically designed to the exact opposite. Most diets and weight loss plans set you up for failure by running your straight into a wall. The 4 Cycle Solution’s number one strength is the strategy. It’s the only plan in existence that is set up to OVERCOME the “adaptive response” associated with diet and exercise. In other words, NO rebound weight gain!

Q: Is this plan something I can only use once, or can the four cycles be used over and over again?

You can use the 4 Cycle Solution over and over and over again. In fact, we encourage you to keep moving through the four cycles as long as you have weight to lose. Each cycle is designed to prepare your body’s fat loss systems for the next cycle – to enhance its effect. You can also use Cycle 4 (The Diet Break) to maintain and eat more of the foods you love. Or, if you’ve fallen off track and it’s time to get more aggressive, you just jump back into Cycle 1 and your body will immediately start releasing more of the hormones that burn stubborn fat.

Q: What if I’m down to the last 10, 15 or 20 pounds of stubborn fat? Will this program still work?

If you look above you probably saw Erin Nicole and Tara Arellano’s testimonial – one is a local Channel 7 celebrity and news reporter and the other is a pro fitness model who were both already in great shape, but still managed to take their training, nutrition, and their bodies to the next level by using the 4 Cycle Solution.

So whether your goal is to lose the last 10 stubborn pounds or you have 50 pounds to lose, the 4 Cycle Solution will work. And it will work…fast.

Q: I want to get started now; do I have to wait for you to deliver me all this information physically before I get started?

Nope. This entire system will be instantly available for you to download right after your purchase. No shipping fees, no delays, no waiting to get started.

Q: I’m not a spring chicken anymore; will this program work if I’m in my 40’s, 50’s or 60’s?

Of course it will. Most of our test subjects have been in their 40’s and 50’s. We’ve even had several dozen people as late as their 60’s and even 70’s use Macro-Patterning™ to experience their own personal body transformation. That’s the beauty of the 4 Cycle Solution. It’s fast fat loss with a lifestyle built right in.

Q: What if I’m a newbie and beginner; is this program still suited for me?

Although the 4 Cycle Solution is designed to help low carb and crash dieters overcome the “adaptive response”, it actually works just as well – if not better – on beginners because they haven’t radically altered and damaged their metabolisms from low carb or trendy diets.

Q: What if I’m a woman who has hormonal imbalances, will this program work as quickly for me as it does for men?

Absolutely. In fact, this program is specifically designed to help women (and men) overcome the hormonal obstacles that typically BLOCK fat loss. The 4 Cycle Solution does not discriminate. It will work regardless of age, gender, or current condition. It has you covered.

Q: What happens if this program doesn’t work for me?

Simple. Then it’s ALL FREE.

Listen, if you follow the 4 Cycle Solution just like we’ve laid it out for you and you’re not floored by the results and this way of living, just contact us and we’ll refund every penny. Fair enough?

Not only do we live this lifestyle and personally walk our talk, we stand behind our product as the most fun, flexible, and powerful way to burn fat – fast, while still enjoying your life on a daily basis. And if you don’t agree with us after you follow it, you get your money back. No funny stuff, no hassles, no hidden clauses. Just a prompt courteous refund.

So now you have ZERO risk and we carry the burden by standing behind our promise. We’ve provided the road map. Now it’s up to you to take action.

NOTE: 4 Cycle Solution is a downloadable product. No physical products will be shipped. After you order, you will get INSTANT ACCESS to download the e-book onto your computer. The e-book format is adobe acrobat PDF, which can be viewed on Mac or PC. If you have any questions regarding this product please contact support at support [at] 4cyclefatloss.com.

Please read our awesome disclaimer:  Due to recent statements from the FTC, it is required that we identify what a “typical” result is.  The truth: most people never do anything with the products they buy, so most of the time, their typical results are zero.  The biggest factor is your ability to follow through.  There is no such thing as a Magic Bullet. I bet this disclaimer would make a great reality TV show.

Lose Weight

 Lose Weight Results may vary, and testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. All testimonials are real, and all the guys pictured transformed their body through using “Afterburn Training” and Mike Chang’s system. However, these results are meant as a showcase of what the best, most motivated clients have done and should not be taken as average or typical results.

In addition, you assume certain risks inherent in exercise and nutrition programs by using this system. Six Pack Shortcuts involves body weight exercises, weight lifting, and high intensity cardiovascular exercise. You should not begin the program if you are severely obese, or if you have a physical condition that makes intense exercise dangerous. In addition, Six Pack Shortcuts requires you to follow an eating plan and at times restrict the amount of calories you consume. You should not begin this eating plan if you have physical or psychological issues which make fat loss dangerous.

Mike is not a doctor, and his advice is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. See our full FTC Legal Disclaimer for complete detail. Do you have questions about Six Pack Shortcuts? Are you wondering if the program will work for you? Give us a call! You can contact us at 1(800) 655-8576. We will go over your fitness goals, and customize the program to fit your individual needs. Just call 1(800) 655-8576, and we’ll be happy to help you out.

The Proven System for

Getting In Killer Shape

It’s Mike, and I want to personally thank you for checking out the Afterburn Training Video. Watch the entire video above before reading this — it contains some key information about your workouts that you need to know on how to get a six pack

And if you’ve finished watching and you’re looking for an Afterburn Training system that will get you lean and ripped fast… I’d love to train with you in my Six Pack Shortcuts program.

Six Pack Shortcuts is the first workout system designed to maximize the Afterburn Effect from your workouts. The workouts will be short, but INTENSE. They’re a combination of heavy, compound weightlifting combined with high intensity cardio…and they’re designed to get you lean and ripped FAST.

Mike Chang
Austin, Texas

Check out the results this guy is getting with Six Pack Shortcuts

 

 

Daniel Rose
Austin, Texas

“Mike, I just want to tell you that this is one of the most effective systems for getting abs that I’ve ever tried. I’m sending you a picture of what I used to look like before I started on Six Pack Shortcuts, and what I look like now.

I was actually just about to give up, when I heard about Six Pack Shortcuts. I gave the program a try, and you can see the results I got just a few months later.

And the most exciting part for me was, I finally saw my abs for the first time in my life. You’re a really good trainer man, and thanks for everything you’ve done for me.”

Important Legal Disclosure Of Typical Results, Testimonials, And Risks

Try The System With Our Risk-Free

Money Back Guarantee

I know that Six Pack Shortcuts can help you get the ripped body and six pack abs you’ve always wanted — just like it has for the hundreds of guys that have sent in success stories. And I know you’ll love it once you start doing the workouts. So…I’ve figured out a way that you can try the system out risk free to see if you like it.

Sign up for Six Pack Shortcuts now, and do the workouts for a full sixty days. I know you’ll love them, but if you’re not satisfied for any reason just contact me by email or phone anytime within 60 days for a 100% money-back refund. I’m offering you the chance to try Six Pack Shortcuts out risk free like this because I think the program can really teach you how to get a six pack and a ripped body — and you’ll see that once you have access.

Click the button to the right to sign up for Six Pack Shortcuts, and to start training with me. I’ll see you inside!

What You Get With

Six Pack Shortcuts

21 Full-length Afterburn Training Workouts
Quick demonstrations of how to perform each exercise for maximum results

Personal Fitness AdviceIn these entertaining (but information packed) videos, I coach you to achieve success and I share my best advice to get in shape. I give you the techniques and strategies that worked best for me to transform my body, and which have gotten great results for many of my clients as well. I also teach you about the “mental” side of getting abs – how to ensure you stay motivated, consistent with your workouts and eating, and focused on your goals.

Entertaining, Action-Packed, Easy-to-watch VideosNo boring e-books to slog through – just push the play button anytime you want to train!
Instant Access and DVD SetYou’ll receive the full Six Pack Shortcuts system on four beautifully packaged DVDs. That means you can watch your training videos in crystal clear high definition on your TV, anytime you want.

FREE Shipping on DVD SetMike will give you FREE SHIPPING on your Six Pack Shortcuts DVDs if you sign up to train with him today.
Printable Workout LogYou get permanent lifetime access to Six Pack Shortcuts through our members’ site AND the full program shipped to you on four DVDs when you claim your spot today
Instant Access To Member SiteYou’ll also get instant access to all of your training videos through the Six Pack Shortcuts members’ site as soon as you sign up. You’ll be able to stream or download all of your videos in MINUTES, and you won’t have to wait for your DVDs to arrive to start training.You can stream the videos from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, or download a high definition copy permanently to your computer. You can also put the videos on your iPhone, Android, or other mobile device. And since you will also get the program on DVD, you’ll be able to train with me anytime you want!
Permanent Life Time AccessYou get permanent lifetime access to Six Pack Shortcuts when you claim your spot today

BONUS #1

Zero Willpower Eating System

And if you decide to claim your spot today, I’ll also include two of my BEST products as free bonuses for taking fast action!

Learn how to eat for fat loss, without starving yourself or going on a dangerous “crash diet.”

Eating strategies to put on muscle WITHOUT also putting on a lot of fat.

How to make eating healthy SIMPLE – I’ll give you the 5 eating rules I followed to get in shape, which you can use to simplify nutrition and eliminate confusion.

Done-for-you recipes for healthy meals – you don’t have to “figure out” what to eat, you can just eat the exact meals that I give you. I’ll also show you how to customize the meals to your individual tastes, while still staying within the nutritional guidelines.

How to ENSURE you eat healthy and aren’t tempted to cheat on your diet. Here’s the key: cook a week’s worth of healthy meals in advance. Then anytime you want a healthy meal, all you have to do is pop it in the microwave – it’s easier than ordering a pizza!

I’ll also show you the cooking techniques I use to prepare a week’s worth of Zero Willpower meals with less than 90 minutes cooking time per week. You’ll save a TON of time on cooking by doing this!

I’ll also show you how to season and flavor each meal so that it’s tasty and delicious. Healthy food doesn’t have to bland if you know what you’re doing! I’ll show you simple seasonings, marinades, and sauces you can use to spice up your meals, WITHOUT adding extra calories.

You will SAVE MONEY by following the Zero Willpower Eating System. Since the meals consist only of simple whole foods, they’re MUCH cheaper than processed grocery store food…and far cheaper than eating out at restaurants or ordering delivery. I’ll show you the money-saving techniques I use to get my cost down to just $2.71 per meal!

You will lifetime access to stream or download the videos from the Six Pack Shortcuts members’ site when you claim your spot today.

BONUS #2

Advanced Fitness Coaching

New Advanced Workout, Nutrition, Or Mindset Videos Each Week

  • Every week, you’ll get a video showing you new, advanced fat loss and muscle building techniques. These techniques are very high-level, and NOT suitable for beginners. But once you’ve learned how to get a six pack and a ripped body, these videos will really take your body to the next level.
  • I give you workout-addons that you can do after each basic Six Pack Shortcuts workouts for FASTER results in your body. If you want faster results and you’re willing to put in a few more minutes of intense hard work at the end of every workout, you’re going to LOVE these.
  • I also give specialized full workouts for fat loss, developing athletic conditioning, sculpting your body for maximum visual impact…and more.
  • I’ll also take your eating to the next level with advanced nutrition tips and meal plans. I’ll show you exactly how to fine-tune your eating to your individual body type, lifestyle, and fitness goals.

How To Get A Six Pack Abs - Six Pack Shortcuts

Unlimited 1-on-1
Personal Email Coaching

  • You’ll get unlimited, 1-on-1 personal email coaching from me, and from the senior trainers on my team. That means that anytime you have a question about the workouts or the eating plan, you can just shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you with a few days with an answer to your question that’s personalized for you.
  • Have an injury you need to work around? I’ll work with you to customize your program so that you’re getting effective workouts without pain or risk of re-injury.
  • Do you have lifestyle constraints that make it hard for you to follow the workout and eating plan? I’ll design a plan just for you which gets you in killer shape AND fits into your busy lifestyle. I’ll help you 1-on-1 with any roadblock that’s holding you back, and work with you personally to ensure you achieve your goals..
  • I’ll also keep you motivated to consistently to the workouts and follow the eating plan. CONSISTENCY is the most important factor in getting in shape…and I’m going to do everything I can to keep you motivated and consistent. You’ll find that our regular email conversations keep you focused, on track, and primed for success.

You’ll get a full 30 days to try the Advanced Coaching out at no cost. The reason why I’m including it is that many clients have told me that it really helps them get more results in their body from the Six Pack Shortcuts workouts.

So watch all the videos for the first month on me, and email me as much as you want for 1-on-1 coaching. I know you’ll love the coaching and it’ll really help you out. But if you decide it’s not right for you, it’s just two easy clicks to cancel anytime. And even if you cancel, you can keep the first month’s worth of videos for free, just for giving it a try.

If you decide you want to keep it, you’ll keep getting the new videos each week, and you’ll be automatically billed just $67/month for the coaching until you cancel. This is far less than the cost of a high-level personal trainer who knows these techniques. And I’m sure that you’ll think it’s a great deal too once you see the quality of training you’ll be getting.

Ok, I’m Ready To Claim My Spot!

But How Much Will It Cost Me?

I sell Six Pack Shortcuts to my live training clients for $297. And they consider it a bargain…considering that my live training rate is $250/hour, and I’m not accepting any new clients.

So for $297, you get access to all the Six Pack Shortcuts videos, and all the bonuses. My clients agree that $297 is more than fair, since the videos reveal my entire system for getting a ripped body and abs, AND it’s much more convenient than having to train with me live.

But…
It wasn’t too long ago that I was broke, AND out of shape. I can remember exactly what it was like to want to get in shape so badly, but to need to do it on a tight budget. I remember how much it sucked, and I really don’t want anyone to go through that.

Now that Six Pack Shortcuts has become successful, I wanted to give back to the fitness community by lowering the online price of the program to something ANYONE who is committed to getting in shape and getting a six pack abs.

So you can now get Six Pack Shortcuts
for just $97– that’s over 67% off what my live clients are paying!. All I ask in return for this is that do your absolute best with the workouts and eating plan, and that you stay in touch with me regularly for 1-on-1 coaching.

Try Six Pack Shortcuts

Risk-Free For Full 60 Days

I know this is the program that can help you get in great shape. In fact, I’m so confident that this is the program you need I’m willing to do something a little CRAZY… If you decide to sign up for Six Pack Shortcuts, I’ll let you test out the program at MY RISK for 60 days. Watch all the videos, read all the reports, and start applying what I teach you on how to get a six pack abs and a ripped body.

I guarantee you’ll be completely satisfied with this program. But if you aren’t, you can return the program at any time for a no hassles, no questions asked 100% refund. If you’re not absolutely blown away by the quality of the product, just send me an email with “refund” in the subject line and I’ll cheerfully give you your money back.

The reason why I can make such a killer guarantee is that I KNOW that this program is going to be what you need to get in shape. And I want you to be just as certain before you sign up. I truly want to help you get the abs you’ve always wanted. I get emails every day from guys who have used my training materials to get into great shape, and I want to help you do that as well.

You Will Love Six pack Shortcuts

Or You Won’t Pay A Dime!

I’m confident that Six Pack Shortcuts can help you get the ripped body and six pack abs that you want. In fact, I’m so confident…that I back the program with two INSANE guarantees:

Mike’s “Best Workout Of Your Life” Guarantee: Test drive the first Six Pack Shortcuts workout at my risk. I guarantee that it’ll be the BEST, most INTENSE, most FUN workout you’ve ever done in your life. And if you don’t think so, I’ll immediately give you every penny back!

I know that this is the internet, and it can be hard to know who to trust. And I know that even though you really want to claim your spot and start with Six Pack Shortcuts…you also want to ensure that it’s risk-free for you, and that you’ll only pay for it if the program gets you in shape.

So do the first workout with a “test-drive” mentality. I know that first workout will really blow your mind — and you’ll see exactly how much you can achieve with this program. But if you’re not absolutely floored at how great the first workout is, I will cheerfully give you every penny back. Just ship your DVDs back to me and I’ll ensure that 100% of your money is promptly refunded.

And to double-sure you’re glad you made your purchase, I’ll also give you…

Mike’s 365 Day, UNCONDITIONAL Money-Back Guarantee: Try the entire Six Pack Shortcuts system out. Watch all the DVDs, do all the workouts, and email me as much as you like for coaching. If you don’t love it for any reason at all, just ship your DVDs back to me and I will give you a no-hassles, no questions asked refund anytime within 1 year of your purchase.

Test Drive Six Pack Shortcuts Now

There’s a reason why I can give crazy satisfaction guarantees like this. Almost all my clients love the system once they get access to the workouts and eating system, and I know that you will to

Listen To What Real Clients Have To

Say About Six Pack Shortcuts

Michael Bui
Houston, Texas

“Mike, I just want to tell you that this is one of the most effective systems for getting abs that I’ve ever tried. I’m sending you a picture of what I used to look like before I started on Six Pack Shortcuts, and what I look like now.

I was actually just about to give up, when I heard about Six Pack Shortcuts. I gave the program a try, and you can see the results I got just a few months later.

And the most exciting part for me was, I finally saw my abs for the first time in my life. You’re a really good trainer man, and thanks for everything you’ve done for me.”

Important Legal Disclosure Of Typical Results, Testimonials, And Risks

Sina W
Albany, NY

“I had been working out the past 3 years and was never able to get my abs defined. I tried different diets, fat burners, and did tons!

I was browsing online one day and came across Mike’s six pack site and told myself ‘What the hell, I tried everything else I could think of.’ Well, pictures don’t lie — you can see what my body and my abs looked like at the end of the program. I got to be honest, I feel great with my shirt off these days!”

Important Legal Disclosure Of Typical Results, Testimonials, And Risks

Eric G
San Francisco, CA

“Back in high school I was in great shape, played football and stayed very active and a flat stomach. I was confident, I looked great in clothes, and was never fat.

Just like everybody else, those were my best years as far as the way my physique looked. As time went by, I felt to busy to exercise and my waistline expanded. Every year, my gut got a little bigger.

Thanks to Six Pack Shortcuts and to you Mike, I’m back down to football playing shape. One of my main goals with the program was to reduce my waistline and to see ab definition. You can see how my abs looked at the end of the program from the picture, and I was very satisfied with the reduction in my waistline as well.

Thanks again Mike.

Important Legal Disclosure Of Typical Results, Testimonials, And Risks

Joey L.
San Diego, CA

“Six Pack Shortcuts is the core of my exercise routine to keep me in shape on and off the camera. The workouts and techniques are very effective.

I find it hard to find time to workout between my busy schedule. Six Pack Shortcuts is simple to follow and the workouts only take 30 minutes a day.

If you’re looking for a fast way to get in shape that also fits into a busy lifestyle, Six Pack Shortcuts is the way to go.

FTC Legal Disclaimer: Results may vary, and testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. All testimonials are real, and all the guys pictured transformed their body through using “Afterburn Training” and Mike Chang’s system. However, these results are meant as a showcase of what the best, most motivated clients have done and should not be taken as average or typical results.

In addition, you assume certain risks inherent in exercise and nutrition programs by using this system. Six Pack Shortcuts involves body weight exercises, weight lifting, and high intensity cardiovascular exercise. You should not begin the program if you are severely obese, or if you have a physical condition that makes intense exercise dangerous. In addition, Six Pack Shortcuts requires you to follow an eating plan and at times restrict the amount of calories you consume. You should not begin this eating plan if you have physical or psychological issues which make fat loss dangerous.

Mike is not a doctor, and his advice is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

IMPORTANT LEGAL DISCLAIMER FOR TESTIMONIALS, RISK AND TYPICAL RESULTS

As with any exercise program, you assume certain risks to your health and safety by following Six Pack Shortcuts. Any form of exercise can cause injuries if the exercises are performed incorrectly, and Six Pack Shortcuts is no exception. It is possible that you may become injured doing the exercises in this program, especially if they are done with poor form. Although thorough instruction is included on form for each exercise, realize that Six Pack Shortcuts (like any other exercise program) does involve a risk of injury.

Mike offers a 100% money-back guarantee — you can return the program for any reason if you are not satisfied with the results. However, Mike cannot guarantee your results with Six Pack Shortcuts. It is possible that you will not lose fat, gain muscle, or get ab definition with this program. It is also possible that you will gain fat, lose muscle, and lose ab definition.

Mike’s story, and the stories of the clients you see on this page are real. However, it must be disclaimed that these testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results with the program. They are meant as a showcase of what the most motivated and dedicated clients can do with the program. Your results may vary, and you may not get the same results when using this program due to differences in your individual exercise history, genetics, and personal motivation.

Mike is not a medical doctor or nutritionist. His advice is not meant as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet program.

Please see our full legal disclaimer for more information on typical results, risks, and our full testimonials disclaimer: Disclaimer for typical results, testimonials, and risks

Easy Home Surveillance

Welcome to Easy Home Surveillance

It’s never been easier to monitor your home while you are away. Learn to turn an ordinary webcam into your own private surveillance system making it easy to:

Start Now>>

keep tabs on a nanny or housekeeper or caregiver
check in on your kids while you are at work
watch a newly delivered litter of puppies
1 Safety 2 Security 3 Peace of Mind
How would you like the ability to check in on your house,
wherever you are, from your cell phone or computer?

Video Surveillance.

In the United States, the FBI has calculated that a burglary occurs every 8 seconds and that three out of four homes will be burglarized within the next 20 years. There’s no reason to wait until it happens to you. Video surveillance systems were originally designed to offer the ultimate in security for banks, airports and casinos. Recent technological advances have made them inexpensive and simple enough to be used at home. Most surveillance systems retail for $250 or more! In our guide, we show you how to accomplish this for free!

Possible Uses.

Surveillance or Spy Cameras have many purposes:
– to prevent theft,
– to watch employees,
– to catch cheating spouses,
– for covert operations,
– or simply to monitor a nanny or caregiver when you’re not at home.
In addition, if you have infants or young children at home, a camera that you can view on your cell phone will help you keep a vigilant eye on them while you’re away, any time, both night and day.

With our instant online confidential delivery, you can access this product right now. Even at 3AM in the morning, wherever you are in the world!

cell phone surveillance

Following our step-by-step guide, you can easily set up a camera so a childgiver’s performance can be observed and evaluated, allowing you to feel safe and secure when you’re not there.  Without a covert camera in place, parents might never know for sure how their children are being taken care of. Our easy-to-follow guide has helped many people catch abusive nannies via their cell phone who otherwise would have continued to neglect their children.
home surveillance

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to prevent theft/vandalism/property damage, an employer who wants to check up on his/her employees and to maintain a safe working environment, or a parent striving to provide his/her infant with the best possible care, you’ll find a wide variety of uses for our clever system. If you have children, valuables, or a spouse with wandering eyes, then it’s just plain stupid NOT to see what happens after you leave the house—especially now, with spy cams so affordable and easy to use! Nearly every major cell phone is compatible with our methods.

easy home surveillance

Here is just a small portion of what you will discover
in Easy Home Surveillanace

How to get started without having to buy any hardware!
Free software that will allow you to view your webcam from anywhere
Instructions on how to view your webcam from your cell phone!
A list of free and paid applications that make remote viewing even easier
How to have complete remote access to any computer
easy home surveillance
Sarah Miller
Tannerville, MA
Jim I wanted to write and say thank you because your guide has been such a help to me. After my son Jeffrey was born I wanted a way to check in on him and the babysitter while I was at work. Your book taught me how to install the software I needed, and how to set up my cell phone so that I can login anytime, from anywhere. I never even knew this technology was possible, and certainly wouldn’t have been able to figure it out without your guidance.
easy home surveillance
Jennifer Connelly
Crowlers, MI
For the last few months I had suspected my husband was being unfaithful but didn’t have any proof to confront him with. Your guide taught me how to turn my laptop into my own personal spy camera. I followed your instructions on installing the free software, and then had the ability to see what was going on at my house from my Blackberry cell phone. Two days after I had everything set up I caught him cheating with the neighbor. Thanks so much for your help Jim because without it, I would still be in the dark putting up with his lies! I whole heartedly recommend this guide to any woman that suspects infidelity.

 

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Ordering is fully secure (web encrypted for your security), easy, and safe. You also get my personal support. Ask me any questions by using this confidential contact form but first see our frequently asked questions.

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Build your own home surveillance system and see exactly how much you’ll save and how healthy your family is eating. If within 60 days, you aren’t thrilled with everything, simply contact us explaining your issues and we will do our best to help.If you are still not satisfied, we will promptly and immediately refund you every single penny you have paid.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully you’re excited to get onboard this exciting, new trend of home surveillance via cell phone!
Sincerely,

Jim Stauffer
Home Surveillance Pioneer and founder of
the Easy Home Surveillance System

P.S. Don’t forget, all the risk is on me. If you are not completely satisfied I will immediately refund every penny. You have nothing to lose, so try it now!

 

How To Buy Cars At Auctions

How to buy cars at auction?Start Now>>


Due to the economic crisis in the USA and around the world, it’s not only houses that are being repossessed in record numbers; it’s also CARS, TRUCKS, SUV’s, MOTORCYCLES, BOATS, & MOTOR HOMES.

Banks, finance companies, bailiffs, and repo companies are all overstocked with record numbers of stock, more than they have ever had before!

They have to get rid of them to recover some of their losses.

Their ONLY GUARANTEE of actually selling them is at auctions where everything sells to the highest bidder, even if that is only pennies on the dollar.

Car dealerships are hurting like never before.

It has become very difficult for the average person to get a car loan today.

Without any sales, dealers are forced to dump some of their stock in auctions. They know it is the only place where they are GUARANTEED A SALE!

They know they will get nowhere near their asking price at an auction, but they have no choice. Many of them are near bankruptcy themselves. They are desperate. They have to sell something every month, even if it means an auction.


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Dear Friend,

Imagine buying a new car, truck, van, sports car, or any other type of automobile you want and saving yourself thousands of dollars.

Wonder how this is possible?

Well, there is a secret that only a small but select group of ‘insiders’ know. They buy cars for dimes on the dollar, often saving themselves thousands of dollars.

For example when you trade in a vehicle, your new car dealer places the car up for auction, rather than hold onto a car they don’t want.

And when your local used car dealer picks up that car at auction, he marks it up, and then sells it for a hefty profit.

Now — you can cut out the middleman, pick up any car for a ‘steal’, saving yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Sincerely,

Andy Small

So what does all this mean to people like you and me?

It means that never before in history has there been a better time to buy a car at an auction. Never before has there been as much inventory as right now. And, most importantly, never before has there been so little competition at auctions.  With financing becoming increasingly difficult and bank accounts almost empty, most people can’t afford to buy anything, let alone a nice car.

What if I don’t have much money?

You don’t need much money! Remember most people are broke right now, so they don’t have any money to bid against you at the auction. You probably have more money than you need to buy that nice car, because they are selling so cheap right now.

I’ve never been to an auction, how will I know what to do?

This is where I can help you. I have spent more than half my life buying and selling cars and trucks at auctions. I can teach you everything you need to know in a couple hours!

Auctions make me nervous, even a bit scared.

That ‘s right. Auctions can be a scary place, if you don’t know what you are doing. After reading my book, you will have nothing to fear or be nervous about. I will walk you through each step. You will look forward to going to the auction. You will experience a new level of fun when you realize what a great deal you just got on your next car.

I’ve been to a few auctions. I think I know what I’m doing.

For just $9.95 you can have half a lifetime of auction experience at your fingertips. You will learn the tricks of the trade that most people don’t know. You will learn how to notice the difference between a great deal and a bad deal, when at first glance they look the same.

Jammed with techniques and insider’s knowledge of the car auction scene, “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” is an instantly downloadable ebook illustrated with photos, and is an easy, step-by-step guide to buying cars at auctions for both U.S. and Canadian buyers and the principles also apply for International buyers too.

With this powerful guide you will reduce your risks and eliminate the danger of making hasty decisions in the heat of the auction, all while finding out how to grab cars that you want for potentially thousands in savings!

Here’s a tiny fraction of what you’ll discover in “How to Buy Cars at Auctions”:

Regulations And Fees – Discover the key auction Regulations and Fees and find out why EXACTLY you want to check the tax laws of an area auction before bidding (hint – this could save you hundreds of dollars).

The Auction Process – Get the step by step Auction Day Protocol… from Registering to Bidding Techniques all the way through Payment and Possession. You’ll understand exactly how these auctions work inside and out!

Internet Bidding – Find out how to bid over the internet and by proxy so that you don’t even have to travel to the auctions to get the cars you want (this alone could save you thousands of dollars!)

Condition And Value – Uncover my secret techniques for quickly and easily determining a car’s true value before you ever even think about placing a bid on it!

The Competition Crush – Discover my tricks for finding out who your competition is early on, and learn the tactics they might try in order to prevent you from bidding on the same car as them!

Secret Bidding Techniques – Uncover the auctioneers’ ploy for grabbing big bucks off the bat and learn my special bidding techniques that ensure the best possible outcome of any car you buy through auction!

Choice And Privilege – Discover just what this term means and why it is crucial you have done your homework if you come up against this auction scenario!

Service History Factor – Find out why a vehicle at auction with a full service history can bring significantly more profit if you intend to resell it.

Accident Disclosure – Uncover the things you need to be on the lookout for to make sure that you are not bidding on a vehicle that has been in an accident, and find out the resources that can confirm with great certainty whether a vehicle is accident free!

Reselling For Profit – Find out how to flip the cars you buy for hefty cash profit, even in States that require a dealers license and you don’t have one!

And so much more!

“How to Buy Cars at Auctions” is your complete step by step guide to finding and buying great cars at vehicle auctions — often saving you thousands!

Click Here For The Insider Auction Secrets!

Junkers? No WAY. Not by a long shot.

Not every car at every auction is going to be pristine, but we’re talking about late model cars, trucks, vans, classics, collectors, sports cars, hybrids, SUV’s — you name it!

So, just how much would it be worth to you to be able to walk into an auction and grab a late-model vehicle — sports car, hybrid, van, pickup truck, or just about any car you can imagine — for thousands of dollars off the price?… knowing that this car would be yours to do as you please?

If you’re thinking to yourself that you would pay hundreds to be handed the insider auction secrets that would allow you to practically steal these late model cars for thousands of dollars in savings

Then you are not alone — because other online courses with half the information of “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” charge just that… hundreds.

I’m not going to ask hundreds of dollars from you for these secret auction methods and the step by step guide. In fact, I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

You see, for a very limited time you can put your hands on “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” for an introductory price… but please note that when I see introductory I mean it! So, if you make the wise decision to grab your copy today, then you can get this incredible program for only…

You read that right! For just the low one-time investment of ONLY $9.95 all of my insider auction secrets are yours! But, that’s not all! When you grab your copy of “How to Buy Cars at Auctions”, you’ll be completely covered with my…

I wouldn’t do something that I couldn’t get behind 100% and “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” is no different.

I am confident that if you follow this step by step guide, filled with my insider auction secrets, that you will be blown away by your results as you start buying cars for incredible savings.

But, if for ANY reason within 8 weeks you decide that this is not for you, simply drop me an email to let me know and I will gladly refund your money…

No hassles… no arguments… no problem. The risk is on me. You truly don’t even have to make your final decision for 8 full weeks. So, with that…

With “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” I’ll take you by the hand and guide you step by step through the car auction process, where my insider auction secrets can help you grab any car you want for staggering savings!

Whether you want a safe, reliable vehicle for your family that doesn’t break the bank or you want a hot new sports car for dimes on the dollars “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” can help you.

Jim Rohn once said, “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.” He was right but it’s not just indecision that does that to you; it’s making NO decision too. You see, if you do nothing today, then nothing will happen. Tomorrow will be a day just like any other.

BUT, if you make the smart decision to take action right now, you’ll have the inner secrets of car auctions at your finger tips and you’ll be able to practically steal these late model vehicles for thousands in savings.

All you need to do to get started is to click the secure payment button below to grab instant access to this powerful guide!

128 bit secure order button

To Your Success,

Andy Small

PS – This $9.95 offer includes EVERYTHING you need to know to practically steal cars at auction — with it you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the car of your dreams. I won’t be offering this for only $9.95 forever, in fact it is a VERY limited time offer. So, do not delay. Click Here to grab your copy today!

PPS – Don’t forget — I’ve removed any bit of risk from the equation with my 100% money back guarantee. Grab “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” today and try it for 8 full weeks. While I am confident that once you have this in your hands you’ll never want to let it go, if for ANY reason you are not completely satisfied, simply email me for a refund, no questions asked, we walk away friends.

PPPS – You could be buying cars for a fraction of their value days from right now. Buy them for you and your family or buy them to flip for fast cash profits. It’s up to you. Either way, the 1st step is to Click Here right now to grab your copy of “How to Buy Cars at Auctions” today!

The book is written with U.S. and Canadian laws and auction regulations in mind. However, the principles contained within the book apply to auctions around the world.

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Copyright 2009 – The Auction Book – All Rights Reserved

Aeon Swtor Guide

Get it Now>>

What is Aeon SWTOR Guide?

AeonGuide is a library of professionally written guides for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Our guides will give you the most accurate and up to date information available.
We have done the math, the research and the testing, and we know what the best builds, the best items, the best rotations, and the best strategies are for every aspect of the game. Our guides cover leveling, PVP, questing, soloing, grouping, itemization, stats, end game, healing, tanking, DPSing. If its in the game, we will tell you how to be the best at it.

Written By Professionals

The guides here are all written by some of the best players in the world. Many of us hail from top 10 guilds such as Ensidia, Premonition, and Exodus from World of Warcraft, or Maximization from Rift.
Needless to say we play very competitively and we play to be the best. We all spent countless hours playing SWTOR before the game even came out, in the closed beta. Now we want to share our extensive understanding of SWTOR with you.

Leveling Made Easy

After level 10, you will be presented with a massive talent tree with countless choices as well as dozens of spells & abilities with little to no explanation of what they do or when to use them.
Our set of class guides are specifically designed to show you exactly where to put every talent point and when and how to use all your spells/abilities. Instead of wasting several hours and thousands of credits with trial and error, you could be confident that you are using the best build and best rotation for whatever you want to do.
If you want to level by doing Flashpoints, we’ll show you the best way how to tank, heal, or DPS them. If you are a lone wolf, we’ll show you the best builds for plowing through quests.

Kick Ass PVP Builds

PVP and end game content are two of the most important aspects of SWTOR. It takes several hours of practice as well as trial and error to come up with the best builds, items and gears that make up a perfect PVP killer.
At Aeon Guide we aim to help you shorten this learning curve by offering you proven, tested and highly effective PVP builds. No matter what your class is or your play style is, we have builds that are perfect for each and every PVP battle you step into.
Get the right build on the very first day you step into PVP and your enemies will nothing but envy you all the time!

Impress Your Friends

With Aeon Guide, learn to play like a pro right from the first day. Become the player that every one seeks help from. Become the player that everyone wants in their guilds.
Get training and support from some of the best gamers around the world to help you become a better gamer overall.
If you are a guild leader or if you own a guild website, write to us and we’ll offer you and all your guild members a major discount. All the money you save could help you fund your guild website, or perhaps even create one.

 

Aeon SWTOR Guide – Features

Covers Both Factions

Our library of guides covers both factions and details the differences between them. Regardless of your choices at the character select screen, or in the conversations within the game, we have you covered.

Power Leveling

The leveling builds and rotations you get from our guides are tested and proven to be the fastest leveling builds possible. Don’t waste hard earned credits with trial and error when you could get it right the first time with us.


Perfect PVE Builds

Builds and rotations that will put you at the top of the DPS/HPS meter, or make you an invincible tank.

Kick Ass PVP Builds

Sick of dying over and over in the Warzones? With us you will learn PvP builds from level 10 to 50 that will make you unstoppable.


Best Abilities & Talents

Complete point by point walkthroughs for exactly where to put each talent point, for every level and every class!

Gear & Itemization

Detailed information on what items and stats are best. Never wonder which item to pick/buy/roll on again!


Healing & Tanking Guides

Whatever you do in your Groups, Operations or Flashpoints, you’ll be the best possible with our in depth guides, builds, and rotations.

Professional Support

We do not have random people answering support questions. All the questions and issues are addressed by gamers who actually wrote the guide.


Top Notch Quality

Our guides convey the information you need and want in a clean, concise and effective way.

Images and Videos

Our goal is to give you the correct information quickly and effectively. We will use whatever media accomplishes that goal the best.


Detailed Instructions

Our information, walkthroughs, and guides are all very detailed and in depth.

Regular Updates

Our information stays up to date with all the patches, hotfixes, and expansions. Never be left in the dark after the game changes!


No Hacks or Exploits

All of our guides and information is 100% legitimate. We promise you will never be banned for using our guides.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We guarantee our guides will give you the information you want and need. If you are looking for some specific information, submit a request and we’ll add it to our members area.

Aeon SWTOR Guide – Now Updated For Patch 1.2

Our team is working round the clock on rapidly expanding our product catalog. Over time you will see an entire series of guides that cover each and every aspect of the game. No matter how difficult or complicated it is, we will make it simple for you and teach you how to be the best at it. Currently we are offering three packages – Republic, Empire and Aeon Pro.

Aeon Guide – Galactic Republic and Sith Empire Packages

The Republic and Empire packages cover everything you need to master each and every class within these two allegiances. Each package includes 4 base classes as well as 8 advanced classes. It also includes bonus guides like: Companions Guide, Race Guide, Datacrons Guide, Space Combat Guide, and Crafting System guide.

Aeon Guide – Pro Package

The Aeon Guide Pro Package is the collection of everything we have to offer in our members area. It includes all the guides from both allegiances including FREE access to each and every guide that will be released in future. The price of this guide will be $97 soon, but currently we are offering this package for $57.

Got questions or concerns?

If you have quesstions or concerns, please read through our list of FAQ. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please feel free to write to us at support@aeonguide.com

 

Q. Do you charge monthly payments?

No we do not. You only pay once and then you can access everything in that package anytime you want. We ensure that everything you paid for is latest and up-to-date.

Q. Are all updates free?

Yes. All updates are absolutely FREE!

Q. Can I get a discount?

Yes, you can. We are offering all our guides at a discounted price for a limited time.

Q. Can I get a trial?

Not yet. We are planing to introduce trial offers in near future, but just not yet.

Q. Is it safe to purchase Aeon Guide?

Yes. Our payment system is integrated with CLICKBANK.COM which is a very well known and a reputed company that helps us sell digital products.

Q. Does it involve hacks or cheats? Does it involve buying credits for real money?

No it does not. All our guides and strategies are absolutely legit. We do not encourage or support any kind of hacks, cheats or illegal methods.

Q. Do I get a hardcopy or a physical book?

You do not get a hardcopy or physical book. Our guides are web based so that we can provide constant updates. This also allows us to support an exclusive community in case you need 1-1 help.

Q. Does your guide work on iPhone, iPad, or Android devices?

Yes it does! Our guides will work on no matter what device you are on. You will be able to access them from anywhere!

Mobile Website Creator

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Mobile Income Elite™ is a custom turnkey solution for converting and creating mobile-friendly websites in seconds. No HTML, CSS or Programming skills required.

“If your websites are NOT optimized for mobile platforms, then you are missing out on big conversions and fast sales in the rapidly growing smart phone market”

“Jacob laughed when I told him that more kids can use smartphones than can tie their own shoes… But when I showed him my check, his face changed…”

 

Thousands Have Optimized Their Websites With The Mobile Income Elite™ – For One, Damn, Good Reason!

“This Is The Most Banged-Up, Fail-Proof, Web Mobile System On The Internet”


 

Date: Wednesday, February 29
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
From: Brandon Gentry & Jason Cooper

Dear entrepreneur,

Jacob is a good guy. He’s probably the friendliest guy I’ve ever met in my entire life. People can tell that he has a huge passion about marketing. He’s also very dedicated to his online business, the boundaries of his passion goes all the way through the space.

But you know what… it’s really incredible to see someone so mobile and yet doesn’t realize that he is leaving millions of dollars on the table.

Or should I say; giving away millions of dollars to his competitors…

Happy Competitor

My name is Brandon Gentry. You may know me, you may not. In case you don’t know me, well… you will in the next few minutes.

So, what’s the hype for today’s breakfast?

Smartphones.

Do you have one? Take a look at it. Take a look at all the gadgets these days.
The world is changing. Fast.

Cell phones become smarter. Computers become smaller and lighter. Internet becomes cheaper. Soon, “smartphones” will simply become “phones.” And phones will be your mobile computer – your most favorite point of access to digital world – connecting you 24 hours a day to your friends, family, work and entertainment.

Furthermore, your phone will become your preferred method of payment, your e-wallet complete with social security card, credit cards, driver’s license, etc.

Are you seeing what I’m seeing here?

Smart Phone Kid

You know there’s all this hype right now about Social Media Marketing. You can see a lot of marketers from around the world competing and racing and killing each other to get more ‘social’ every single day.

That’s all good.

BUT!

They missed this one little thing…

A study conducted by AVG in 2010 found that 19% of 2-5 year olds could use their parent’s smartphone to play games, but hear this… only 9% of those same children could tie their own shoes.

Go ahead, laugh.

Just like Jacob did.

To most people, that study means nothing. Just another study conducted by some company. No big deal. But to SOME people, very few actually, that study means everything.

To most people, watching kids play with smartphones and tablets is just that; kids enjoying their time without bothering their parents. Nothing more. But, to SOME people, that is a sign to something much bigger.

It’s like Larry Page and Sergey Brin both whispering you…

“Psst, The Money Is In Mobile!”

And that, my friend, is why Google is investing heavily on Android.

Take a look at your smartphone once again. Compare it with the phone you used to order pizza, 10 or 20 years ago. You see any differences?

Not on the phone, on YOU.

That’s right. You have started to become a moving gadget. Tell me; can leave your home without your smartphone? Heck, I even know a girl who can’t go the bathroom without her smartphone!

Jacob knew this too.

But alas, he didn’t realize the opportunity.

Just like millions of other business owners didn’t realize the opportunity.

According to 1&1 Internet, business owners are neglecting the needs of consumers accessing websites from mobile devices. From their study, 57% of businesses have not optimized their websites for mobile usage and have no plans to do so.

Wow.

Can you imagine that? They are living the mobile lifestyle themselves and yet only few believe a mobile-friendly website could boost their traffic AND sales revenue.

You know what, this is actually good news…

For YOU.

Clickbank introduces mobile commerce features

Clickbank introduces mobile commerce features

  • The growing smart phone market demands easier sales on the go.
  • Clickbank takes their powerful Hop Traffic Management system mobile.

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Smartphone sales and mobile conversions are on the rise

Smart phone sales and mobile conversions are on the rise

  • Smart phone purchases were up 50% last year.
  • This is expected to double by 2015.
  • Mobile conversions continue to increase.

Convert My Site Instantly »

PayPal cashing in on mobile conversions through responsive design

PayPal cashing in on mobile conversions through responsive design

  • PayPal is projecting $3 billion in mobile revenue alone.
  • Optimized mobile payment system is integrated into online stores

I have my own story too.

About 2 years ago I saw the sales on my best products starting to decline. And my new products weren’t selling at all – “at all” as in zero sales, zero money, and zero profit. My ‘set-and-forget’ auto-pilot income that gave me a good life was slipping away. Sound familiar?

Then I went to a mobile web design conference where I had the epiphany that would change my business for good…. While the speakers talked about compliant web design and projections on smart phone numbers, I realized that I needed to shift my efforts towards mobile marketing… FAST.
I left the conference early, energized like crazy to get home and start redesigning all my sales pages and refocus my marketing efforts.

That’s where I hit another road block…

Converting normal websites into mobile friendly websites was NOT easy. My brain almost exploded that night. I needed a solution, so I called my good friend Todd who is a programming ninja and told him my problem. If anybody can make something difficult into something simple for people like me, it’s Todd.

So, I hired him to make me a program.

A program that can easily turn all my normal websites into mobile websites.

“Okay, just send $10,000 to my account tomorrow, you can transfer the rest after I’m done.”

Oh my God…

I remembered that I didn’t have the money!

The next morning, I called my father (he’s pretty loaded with cash). I asked him to invest in my new venture. You know, to pay for the program. Unfortunately, he didn’t share the same enthusiasm. He even laughed at me.

Okay.

So I called another friend, Jason Cooper. After a long talk on the phone, he agreed to invest his money. After spending nearly $30,000 for over a year, we were finally ready to test the program.

I had all my sites converted that day and I even created a few brand new affiliate sites selling other peoples’ products… I was INSTANTLY selling to an uncharted market of cash-spending mobile users…

Sales Statement

So, what about you?

You are an Internet marketer.

I know you know the PAIN in getting people to visit your website… I know you’ve heard the sad stories of decent marketers working like zombies every night and yet nothing seems to show any results. It’s downright depressing.

So why not go mobile from now on?

Why not grab the opportunity where others can’t see?

You have a choice here…

You can have thousands of people visiting your website from their smartphones… This will not only help you start your first (or second, or third) business quickly, it will also help you build your reputation and establish yourself as an expert in a market where others have ignored.

And, the best part is…

Boy, you’re gonna love this…

“With MIE™, You Can Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices In Less Than 5 Minutes!”

Shawn G. – Columbus, OH

“I can’t believe how quick and easy the setup was. From start to finish, I had my mobile sales page complete in under 10 minutes. I am now selling and generating leads to a whole new market of users. Thanks MIE!”


ED W. – San Diego, CA

“I’m not a programmer, but when I wanted to expand my ebook business to mobile users, I didn’t know where to start. That’s when I found Mobile Income Elite. I can’t believe that you were able to convert my current site into a mobile site in a matter of minutes.”

 

WILLIAM B. – Seattle, WA

“Thank you so much. This product is better than advertised.”


 

THE MOBILE INCOME ELITE™ SOFTWARE PACKAGE COMES WITH THE FOLLOWING:

  • The Mobile Income Elite™ mSite™ CONVERTER

    We will convert and host ALL your websites into mobile-ready websites in under 30 seconds! Convert as many as you want. There is no limit!

    Starting at $1

  • The Mobile Income Elite™ mSite™ CREATOR

    Create brand new mobile-friendly web sites in minutes. Capitalize on the huge untapped market of mobile affiliate sales or create mobile sites for your products with NO CODING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. We will host and help you create an unlimited number of mobile sites!

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And, as always, your investment today is backed up by my personal reputation, my own name, and everything that I worked for over the past XX years… If you don’t get the results I promised, if you are not happy with the new mobile websites you received, I will gladly refund you 100%.

No questions asked.

Here, I’ll make it easy for you to request your refund, in case you change your mind later… Simply send an email to: support@mobileincomeelite.com – See, I’m not joking. I’m just being fair with you.

Now it’s decision time…

 

Mobile Income Elite

HURRY: For a limited time, get everything you see here…
The entire Mobile Income Elite™ System (a $676 value)

Try it out for 7 FULL days for only $1!
You read that right: $1!

Take the Tour

If you love Mobile Income Elite (and I know you will),
you can continue to use it for the super low monthly price of $67.

So, that’s it. Go ahead and make whatever decision seems like the best value for YOU. I know you’ll be pleased as punch with what you’ve got here, and the difference it can make when you use it to grow your business on the Internet.

To your wild success,

Brandon Gentry
Mobile business owner
www.mobileincomeelite.com

Jason Cooper
Mobile business owner
www.mobileincomeelite.com

 

P.S. Technology research company Gartner predicts that by 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online. I’m telling you, smartphones will change the way you do business.

Whether you’re looking to start your own Internet business or you already have a successful business, this service is something you must have RIGHT NOW.

 

Take the Tour

 

P.P.S. My father thought I was crazy, until I showed him my “mobile” check. His name is Jacob.