Investing in Your Mental Well-Being

Hmm … where did I leave those keys? What did I come in here for? What was I going to say? Or in my case – 'you just asked me that question dad', to which I think, I do not remember getting an answer, in fact, I do not even remember asking the question.

Being mentally responsive and perceptive is something a lot of people take for granted and does not give a second thought to. Unfortunately, your memory is a precious thing that needs to be taken care of and kept 'in shape'. Believe it or not, we do not realize how valuable our memory really is until it is taken from us as we get older, or for some, when stricken with health issues.

Taking care of your mind means you will need to invest in things that keep it sharp and responsive. Believe it or not, it is as easy as having regular sleep patterns, uninterrupted rest, exercise, less stress and mental challenges. All of which, can cause a loss of mental alertness when ignored.

Investing in yourself is a foreign concept, especially for those with busy schedules and families to tend to. For example, mothers are unselfish and unwavering when it comes to their children. When a new mothers will tend to their babies while everyone else is eating. If she is lucky she will eat with the babies still in her arms or after everyone has gone to bed.

Improving your concentration and focus should be something you work at every day. If you do it consistently, it will definitely prove rewarding. Experts suggest that investing in certain food and brain fitness items will go a long way to sharpening your mind. Brain fitness is an actual term that means "the capacity of a person to meet the various cognitive demands of life."

To get your brain fit again, try:

  • Word searches
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Mind teasers
  • Sudoku
  • Scrabble
  • Taking a course in something new
  • Reading books that make you think

When I read the part about taking a course in something new, I suddenly understood why my children used to come home from school saying that their heads hurt. Learning a lot of new things is taxing and tiring, but education is an investment in their mental capacity, and should not be ignored. Teaching others is also something that keeps your mind sharp and thinking. Teaching a new college the ways of the office, walking a volunteer through what you do on a daily basis or helping your children with their math homework. All of these are good for you and should be thought of as investing in yourself.

In addition to brain exercises, physical fitness helps you maintain mental stability and focus. Studies have shown, and I have personal experiences that prove, that aerobic exercising several times a week will improve your self-esteem. Regular exercise clears your mind of everything else that was there and allows you to focus on the tasks at hand. Investing in a pair of running shoes and tackling a new and challenging sport will certainly pay off in more ways than one.

The phrase, you are what you eat, certainly applies when it comes to investing in your mental wellbeing. A deficiency in Vitamin B and Omega 3 Fatty Acids can lead to poor cognitive functions.

There are certain foods, seeds and natural health alternatives that have been linked to mental stamina. It is well worth looking into these items and investing in them. Some include:

  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Flaxseed

Antioxidant-rich foods are not only tasty, they're also good for mental stamina. They include:

  • Fruit: black plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, sweet cherries, avocado, oranges, grapefruits and grapes
  • Vegetables: dark green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables, spinach and kale

In the end, investing in your mental health will not only result in a sound mind and body, it will also make a happier you. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Concentration is the secret of strength." Go ahead, invest in your mental wellness for a sharper more efficient you.

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Your "Must Know" Ecommerce Metrics

Web Analytics can be an amazing technology, but also a highly under-utilized one. Complex deployments and integrations frequently leave business users befuddled. Without dedicated staff to analyze, analytics packages more often than not collect dust.

This brief is focused on outlining the 7 most important web metrics to monitor within your eCommerce business and what to look for as it relates to your website’s performance.

Bounce rate

First on our list is the most important metric you will encounter: bounce rate. Think of bounce rate as a first impression. The definition of bounce rate is the percentage of users that leave your website after only viewing the initial page that was presented.

Bounce rate is so vital because it provides details into how you initially message your value proposition to the customer or prospect. It provides a cue to also help you identify performance issues with your site that may be causing the inflation the metric.

Bounce rates vary by industry, but eCommerce businesses should focus on getting the metric below 30%. Especially important within paid search campaigns, bounce rate will provide valuable cues into which product assortments and promotions at the category and sub-category levels of your taxonomy are doing well. This knowledge can be leveraged across the business in other categories and implemented via multi-variate testing deployments.

Email Capture Ratio

The next metric you want to track is your email capture ratio. As an online business, you probably sell some type of tangible product or service in which you monitor orders or completed information forms. Most businesses monitor their standard conversion rate, but few businesses frequently monitor their email capture rate and take a proactive approach to increasing.

With eCommerce conversion rates yet to eclipse an average of 3%, 97% of users who come to your store are leaving without buying something. Just because they are leaving however does not mean they are not interested in communicating on some level with your business. By gaining an initial step of trust through the capture of an email address, you are not only increasing the size of your house list for future marketing but you are also building a relationship with your customer and can win their business by providing them solutions to their lives.

Strive for a 7-10% email capture rate and place the sign up tool prominent in the header. Too many businesses bury their sign up tool and do not leverage rich applications that can use browser technologies such as ajax to expand a capture field over standard text in an overlay fashion.

Number of non-branded organic keywords

Make sure you look at number of monthly non-branded organic search keywords. When monitoring SEO performance, you need to first strip out the branded terms that correlate with your business. Thats traffic that you would have received without effective SEO. Then look to the number of remaining keywords that were utilized to make up the balance of the remaining natural search visits.

Why is this important? Because SEO is driven from the long tail. Sure, core SEO terms are nice but you need to capture the 4 and 5 word queries that make up the majority of Google queries each day. Long tail placements are achieved through proper site architecture and quality targeted content. Simply put, the more terms that people are using to find you, the better your site is doing in content development. Aim for a 5% to 10% increase each month within non-branded search keywords as you structure your SEO campaigns.

Shopping Cart to Checkout “Step 1″ Progression Rate

Our next metric directly correlates to the transactional process. Make sure you monitor your direct progression percentage from the shopping cart to checkout step 1. See how many of your users are bailing for price shopping and/or they see a promo code box on your site and they are going hunting for one. This type of behavior dramatically impacts your conversion rate and overall profits and steps should be taken to measure and reduce.

Consider adding the promo box at the end of the transaction for non-affiliate sessions in order to reduce leakage. Use a cookie from an affiliate or potentially a URL to trigger two versions of the cart page. By incorporating checkout abandonment tools that re-market via email, and aggressive banners both internally and externally to try and re-capture the lost transaction, eCommerce businesses can pull prospects back in the sales funnel.

Browser and Resolution Percentages

Dont forget about looking at Browser/Resolution percentages (types and sizes) when scaling your eCommerce business. Lace face it, when you sell online you are in the “looks professional…is professional” world and goo design can make even the smallest retailer seem large. If your build your site and it breaks in Safari (Mac’s browser), or the navigation breaks on Firefox 3.5 on a PC, you essentially shoot yourself in the foot.

Look at the varied browsers and resolutions that are being used to view your website. Conduct full cross-browser testing, on varied platforms, to fully notice any potential usability problems that arrive.

Average number of cross/up sells added per visit

If you are an eCommerce business, you already know that intelligent merchandising is a crucial key to success. A primary metric to help you understand performance within online merchandising is that of average cross/up sells added per visit.

This datapoint associates to your cross sell tools that integrate at the product and the cart level and measures the average number of cross-sells added to the cart per visit. The number will provide details into the effectiveness of your product recommendations and if the recommended products are actively engaging and persuading customers.

It is tough to provide a benchmark statistic for this metric since products can vary so greatly in terms of pricepoint. But look at your historical performance and consider automating this component through algorithmic third party solutions.

Building Background – Benefits of Using Sentence Frames to Build Background Knowledge

Even as native English speakers we sometimes struggle with just the right word to explain, describe, clarify, or elucidate what we want to convey. We always understand more than we can speak. One of best ways to engage English language learners (ELL) in actively acquiring new material is to connect their background knowledge to the new topic. So, let's give them some brackets to help them use language.

We will be most successful if we remember to always start with the concept or theme.

# 1 When beginning a new topic, let pairs pretest one another. Write this sentence frame on a board, overhead, or PowerPoint, or make your own blackline master with the sentence frame repeated four to six times on a page so you can cut them into strips to hand out to the pairs.

A: "Do you know anything about (topic)?

B: "I'm not sure, but I do know _____."

Egypt "I think it could be _____ because I learned _____."

After students copy the sentence frame, or use the handy strips, erase the word 'topic' in the first sentence. Write in the topic for today. It may be a theme, or a characteristic, or an emotion.

  • Read the sentence frame aloud to the students.
  • Read it again, and this time the students should repeat after you.
  • Give them sixty seconds (yes, really time it, using the entire sixty seconds) to look at the word and think about everything they know about it. No talking. No writing. Just thinking.
  • Next, let students use another 60 seconds (yep, time it again) to write words and phrases to capture their thoughts about the topic.
  • Finally it is time to talk.

This is time well-spent. Your lesson will be stronger and more relevant. Your students will be engaged. You can continue to spiral the content, connecting it to what they already know or previously learned. The ELs will build confidence as they are encouraged to think, write, and talk about what they already know.

# 2 Plan more opportunities for pupil interaction. Here's another sentence starter than can be used with individuals, then shared in small groups.

This new theme of _____ reminds me of a time in my life when _____.

# 3 Make sentences frames with the word 'because' to have students explain connections between previous learning and the new topic.

"I think the next topic will be _____ because our last lesson was _____."

This kind of sentence frame encourages prediction according to prior learning. This is a good time to show the students how much they have learned and how it all links together.

# 4 After reading a story, a sentence frame can be used to let students speak with a partner. You can expand this speaking activity to include a second partner, like elbow- partners and across-the-aisle partners. Provide a sentence frame:

For example, "I think _____ is a hero, because _____."

# 5 Ask students to make comparisons to concrete objects in linguistic ways. Hand out objects to students and give them some time to think and write again, before speaking.

Try this sentence frame with a variety of objects:

I am like this _____ (Snickers bar), because I am _____ (nutty).

I am like this _____ (Matchbox Ferrari), because I am _____ (small and fast).

I am like this _____ (red pencil) because I am _____ (my face is red because I have to talk aloud).

The objects you use can be almost anything!

Now that your imagination is raising up, make up some brackets to use tomorrow.

  • Think about how you would want the smartest student in the school to speak.
  • Then use your target vocabulary and academic language to make a sentence frame.
  • Encourage your ELLs to speak in complete sentences in all conversations in the classroom. This will increase their academic vocabulary, which maximizes learning, and builds confidence.
  • Kids like to feel smart!

Uniform Education an Education Revolution in Tamil Nadu


Education can act as a powerful tool for reducing poverty and unemployment and achieving a sustained human development. When we compared our country education with other developed/developing country, the education in our country is not suitable to the current situation/practical life. All over the world governments are strictly follow the procedure of generating libraries along with schools, colleges etc. because the emperor Napoleon said the “Build up libraries otherwise we would build up prisons”.

Generally in all the countries are understand the importance of higher education. In 1980s American president Ronald Regan take several steps to improve the higher educations. In a survey, among the 10 world’s best universities, 9 universities are situated in America. Most of the countries are including the basic education as a human right. In our India itself the education quality in corporation schools and private institutions are having huge differences. For instance the education system in institutions like IIM, IIT is differing from other institution. IIM an IIT institutes students are having more future benefits like employment, salary etc. rather than the other institutes. The syllabus difference between Tamilnadu and Kerala. We can give much more examples to prove in equality in our education system.

According to human resource development department report in our India only 77% of the students pursuing their higher secondary studies. In which 61.6% of the students stop their studies in between of higher secondary. The total no. of schools, colleges is increased slightly when compared to previous years but the education quality is down fall. Even though the students well educated they can’t able to get a job because of non practical syllabus in many education institutions. It is the right time to introduce the “education revolution” through uniform education.

Uniform education:

In current situation only the richest students are able to get quality education in metric and private schools. The government of Tamil Nadu going to introduce uniform education system in eliminates the in equality in education. In 1960′s Gothari commission insist government of India to introduce uniform education in every states and also the committee stressed to increased the allocation of finance to the education with that committee’s recommendations the government of India introduced “Sharva Shiksha Abiyan”. But the result is not up to the level. The Government of Tamilnadu comes forward to introduce the uniform education with the recommendation of Muthu kumaran committee. Uniform education will reduce the burden of the school children through reducing the no. of books and notes and also. It will make pull stop to the indirect collection of amount from the children by way of using text books. It is the good thing in one side but in other side the quality of government school not up to the mark of private schools.

Uniform education’s other important content is crating or building near by schools to children’s. But the government of Tamil Nadu doesn’t give any matters regarding the nearest school systems. The Government of Tamil Nadu also failed to include the medium of instructions as Tamil. Because Mr.Muthukumaran committee strongly stressed about providing of education in the mother tongue. The education minister also failed to include the very important content of uniform education is appointing sufficient no. of teachers to each children in the Government Schools.


From the point of view of us and also from the point of view of experts, we wished to suggest. Some recommendation and we expect something from the Tamil Nadu education minister to develop the rural children education rate.

1. The Government must develop the infrastructure facilities. The Government schools are not having enough infrastructure facilities like in private schools.

2. It most of the rural schools the teacher student ration in too low (5 classes: 2 teachers). Merely introducing common syllabus we can’t expect uniform education development in all schools. The state Government should came forward to allocate more finance to the education development.

3. Most of the politicians like PMK leader Ramadoss expect the State Government should come forward to provide LKG & UKG education to all the rural students. Because, all the urban area students are going in the Ist standard after completing these courses. But most of the rural students are joined with out these courses. So far four committee are arranged to analyze Indians education position. All these committees are recommends one thing severally that is “nearby schools with mother tongue common schools”.

4.A childe should get its education with out going long distance. For that Government should construct more no. of schools in rural areas. So for the Government didn’t explained about the nearby schools construction.

5. Government school teachers are getting more salary than the private school teachers. But the pass percentage is too lower than the private schools. Government didn’t give more attention to praise the teachers and also punishing then when they are mislead.

6. Every year Chennai Municipality receives Rs. 70 crores as education tax. As per I April 2009 situation the idle amount is Rs. 120 crores with his amount the Chennai municipality can improve the 250 corporate schools to star category. Government should concentrate on spending collected amount towards school education development.

7. Even though the Government schools are giving free lunch, no fees, free uniforms and free text books, still most of middle a low class peoples are interested to get the appoint form the private schools. The Government should give been attention towards this actions it should find the reason.

8. Most of the rural students are stopped their education in between (nearly 70% of the students stop their education with in 10th STD) classes. The reason is poverty and also the schools infrastructure education plan, test formation and also job opportunity from the education. The Government should try to change the education system of our state. The every student should be assured with job opportunity.

9. According to latest report from 1000 students only 50-60 students are having the capability of getting jobs. It arises due to non job relevance syllabus and also lack of library facilities in our schools. So the Government should increase the library facilities in each & every schools.


Uniform education system may create an education revolution in Tamil Nadu and it will scatter over all the states. The Government also will make keen attention towards the education system in our country. We hope the uniform education syllabus will reduce the imbalance between the rural student’s knowledge and urban student’s knowledge. It is the time to create education revolution in our country. We believe our state forward its first foot step to wards education revolution. In uniform education, common syllabus is one of the foot step, still there are many foot steps are inform of us we have to cross them in order to get a quality education and also to provide quality education to our state students. Government may do and God will help them.