Monthly Archives: August 2016

Dear Hope: We Are Moving Too Fast

Dear Hope,moving too fast
I have a new girlfriend. We really like each other, but I feel like we are moving too fast. I know that sounds crazy coming from a guy, but what should I do?
– Cal

Dear Cal,
New relationships are usually exciting and can start moving along quickly. Sometimes they move faster than you’re ready. It’s natural to get caught up and then realize you’re not ready to go that fast.

It’s also perfectly okay coming from the guy. There is no specific time lime. One person can be ready before the other. She might even feel the same way. The important thing is to be honest with each other before it goes too far.

Part of a healthy relationship is communication. I know it can be awkward especially at first, but it’s good to get your feelings out in the open. So talk it out. Figure out where you both are. You may be surprised to hear what she thinks.

It’s new relationship. Keep it light and fun, don’t put on any added pressure. Take your time to get to know each other better.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Scared To Change My Hair

Dear Hope,Hair Cut
I want to cut my hair and try a different style, but I’m scared. I’ve had it long forever. What if it looks bad? Should I do it?
   – Change Needed

Dear Change Needed,
Change can be scary, but also a lot of fun. Although it feels like a big decision hair does grow back. It might take a while, but if you absolutely hate it you can grow it out again.

Here are a couple of sites that might be able to help you decide.

E online Should You Cut Your Hair? Consult This Cheat Sheet to Find Out
17 Magazine Which Short Haircut Is Best For You quiz.
InStyle Hollywood Makeover – You upload a picture of yourself and try different hairstyles. If can give an idea of how you would look.

No matter what you decided, have confidence and rock your look.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: How Do I Quit Procrastinating?

Dear Hope,Procrastination
Are there any tips that have not been said yet on how to quit procrastinating? I swear, I’ve tried everything. But nothing is stopping me from procrastinating everything I need to do!
-Serial Procrastinator

Dear Serial Procrastinator,
We are going to go at this a little differently. Since you have probably heard and tried all the tips, we need a new approach.

You said it’s stopping you from everything you do. Really? Everything?

Are there things you do work on? Things you enjoy doing? If yes, take some time thinking about why? What motivates you?

Someone that is a major procrastinator – Will have a hard time getting started on any task.

Someone that needs a new perspective – You have tons of things to get done. It’s overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start so you usually just let it go until it’s too late.

My guess is you have too much going on. But let’s dig a little deeper.

School, homework, blogs, social media, friends, and anything else can be exhausting. If you have so much going on it can feel like nothing is actually getting done. I would guess again that you do meet your deadlines. You don’t let your friends down and you do accomplish things. Am I right?

Ok, so what to do? I know you have tried it all, but I want you to give this idea some thought. Even if you’ve tried before, give it one more chance. But this time with a new perspective.

I want you to stop focusing on the word procrastinate. Instead, I want you to focus on prioritizing.

Get a sheet of paper. On the front write down all the things you need to get done. (Yes do it now. Don’t procrastinate…) Don’t add the things that are routine like brushing teeth and eating. Next go back over the list and label the things with a 1, 2, or a 3

  1. For majorly important: must be done today or within the next two weeks.
    2. Semi-important: needs to be done by next month or two.
    3. Not so important: would like to do, but no deadline.

Now on the back, write down the things you love doing. The things you do when you are putting off doing something you need to get done. We will call this your reward list.

No one can get everything done. It’s about knowing what needs to be done and when to do it. Every day make time to work on the things that have a 1. Once or twice a week spend time on the number 2’s. Once a month or so work on a 3. Retrain your brain to understand it cannot all be done at the same time. Don’t get upset with yourself. You can only do so much.

Before you start working on anything. Take a few minutes to do these steps.

1. Visualize how you will feel when you are done (happy, a sense of accomplishment, proud of yourself). Think about how you will feel if you don’t get it done (disappointed, unhappy). Know which feeling you want and keep that in mind. You will feel amazing if you just get it done.
2. Set a designated amount of time: Decide ahead of time how much time you will work on something. Be realistic. Maybe you just work in 10-minute increments.
3. Pick a reward. Look at your reward list and pick something. When your timer goes off, take some time to reward yourself. I recommend you set the timer for this also (so you don’t get in the distraction danger zone).
4. Ask someone to hold you accountable. Tell a parent or call a friend. Let them know your plan, what you are going to work on and for how long. You might feel more like working if someone will call you out on it.
5. Be your own cheerleader.
Repeat after me:

1 2 3 & 4
serial procrastinator no more

 (I think that sounds better in my own head, but you get the idea.)

I struggle with procrastination. The struggle is real and we all feel it. There will always be distractions or things that are just not fun to do. I understand that. But do not let procrastination win. Don’t focus on the procrastination. Instead, tell yourself that you are a doer. Focus on how good you will feel when you accomplish what you are capable of.

I hope some of this helps. You are so capable. It’s time to let this go. Take small steps and keeping improving. You’ve got this.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: I Really Want a Dog

Dear Hope,i want a dog
I really want a dog, but my dad won’t let me. My mom is okay with it, but she just goes with whatever my dad says. He thinks that I’m not responsible enough, even though I try really hard and help out with chores around the house. He thinks that I’ll just get tired of the dog and make him take care of it, even though I’ve promised that I wouldn’t. I’ve tried telling him the benefits of having a dog but he won’t budge. What can I do to help convince him to get me a dog?
Dog Lover

Dear Dog lover,
Dogs are awesome! I believe everyone should experience owning a dog at some point in their life. You may never convince him, but here are some things you can try.

Get prepared before you try talking to your dad again.

Find out all you can about owning a dog and ask yourself these questions.

1. Where would you get the dog?
2. Will it cost anything? (Do you have any money to contribute?)
3. What supplies do you need? Ex. bowl, food, collar, leash
4. Who will take the dog to the vet?
5. Are you willing to give the dog a bath?

Figure out as much info as you can. Parents find that stuff impressive. Maybe you can talk it all out with your mom and get her opinions on certain things. For example, she might be willing to help you with feeding and taking the dog to the vet.

Every kid tells their parents they will take care of a pet. They mean it 100%. The problem is it’s more work than you think (especially with school, homework, chores and friends).

Here’s a tip: When you talk to your dad, don’t try convincing him you are responsible enough. He already knows there might be a time when you need help. He knows that this dog will become a family thing and he will inevitably be involved somehow.

So instead, let him know you understand that. Don’t make promises you might not be able to keep. It will show him maturity. Tell him that you will do your absolute best. And if your mom is ok with this, tell him that she agreed to help you sometimes.

We are hoping at this point he says yes. Yes you can get a dog! But there is still a good chance he will say no. So here’s what to next. Don’t get angry. Don’t beg and whine. Keep calm. Remember your goal.

Ask him if there is a way to show him that you are responsible. Explain how you already try doing things to help out, but what other things would he like to see?

Find out if he is willing to have a trial period. Not with a real dog, but the idea of a dog. For example, you could fill a bowl of fresh water every day. Make time to go outside for ten minutes every morning and night like you were taking out the dog. Set aside time every day that you would play with the dog. You get the point.

Let your dad actually see that you would take care of the dog. It’s also good for you to get a feel for keeping up with everything. I know it’s not like having a real dog, but it still gives you an idea of the responsibility.

After the trial period is over, go back and talk to your dad. Your dad may not say yes at this point, but he will know how serious you are. Bonus, you handled the whole situation very maturely.

If your dad says yes, we would love to see pics!

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope