Design by Sawyer Pennington

Over the years (and much to our surprise), we've found that many of the ideas and approaches Black developed to help Red deal with an assortment of topics are resonating with people. (Red will be the first to tell you that Black sees things differently than most people … while Black just sees herself as extremely pragmatic.) It may be because many are what Red describes as "instantly actionable" items, while others may only get you to stop and think. But that, too, is a good thing. So, we created the Learning For Life section and will be introducing new topics every week.

Conversation Starters

People have told us they've used our sisterly banter on various topics (whether from our Banter Bites, monthly columns, book, speaking engagements, or even just conversations they've had with us) to start conversations with others (both personally and professionally). So, we've developed "Conversation Starters."

Old Favorites

This site was quickly developed in response to requests for more Red & Black content, so we've been busy creating new content. But we haven't forgotten the "Tools For Taking Control" that were popular on our old website (such as Green Sheets, Black's Track Map, and Black's Weekly Planner), and we'll get those updated and posted.

New Items

We've been listening when you told us how helpful our checklists and worksheets have been, so we're in the midst of turning presentation slides, workbook pages, and even items from our middle school and high school curricula, into easy-to-use and (hopefully) effective tools.

Stay tuned! We're working to provide you with information and tools we hope you'll not only enjoy and find useful, but will want to share. Register on the "sticky bar" at the bottom of the page so you'll be the first to receive new content!

Yes, I love lists. But I'm not "that person" who looks at a terrible situation determined to find the silver lining. Yet alone a list of items. Somehow that changed a few weeks ago when Black and I were working on a Book Bite about exercise. In the P.S. section, which explained why the excerpt's as relevant today as when it was written, we commented that the pandemic made me look at exercise as a way to help reduce my stress and that maybe we should write a separate post about positive changes we've made due to the pandemic. (Similar to the positive things that happened to me years ago when my husband got fired.) As often happens, I thought it was just another one of Black's countless ideas for posts that I'd file away – except it really did get me thinking. So, I decided to create this checklist, although I struggled to keep it to only five things:

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People have told us they're using our sisterly banter to start conversations with others (family, friends, and even in classrooms), so Black created "Conversation Starters". Stay tuned as we'll be introducing new topics on a regular basis!



Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


The new year has barely started but I feel like all the things I intended to "do better" last year really didn't change much, if at all, so don't know why I expect this year to be any different. This happens every year. Maybe I'm just expecting too much of myself.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Maybe you are just being too critical of yourself. Sometimes our "inner critic" is louder than we should allow it to be. What if you looked at any given "issue" as if Natasha or Sawyer (or anyone you cared about) were experiencing it? How would you respond? I bet you would be encouraging and supportive rather than harsh and critical.
THE CONVERSATION STARTERS
  • Why do you think we treat ourselves differently than we treat people we care about?
  • How you think things might change if you responded to yourself in the same way you would typically respond to a loved one or close friend?
  • Since this isn't how most people typically think, what are ways you could remind yourself to look at yourself differently?
Design by Sawyer Pennington

People have told us they're using our sisterly banter to start conversations with others (family, friends, and even in classrooms), so Black created "Conversation Starters". Stay tuned as we'll be introducing new topics on a regular basis!


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I love the holidays but definitely have mixed feelings about the start of a new year. On one hand, it's like a clean slate, a fresh beginning, where you can try to do things better – whether specific things like dieting, exercise, keeping the piles of paper from accumulating or "big picture" things like trying to spend more time with friends and family, and being smarter about money. But on the other hand, I hate feeling pressure to have a list of goals and resolutions, especially since I know it'll be an overly ambitious list and I'll soon "slide back" into old habits. And then I'll feel like a failure.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

If it makes you feel any better, I suspect you are not alone in your approach. Many people have lists of New Year's resolutions that are too long and too ambitious. Which means you are setting yourself up for failure, not success. What would happen if you took your list and picked a few that you think are the most important, or would have the biggest impact on your life? Then set realistic year-end goals and work backward which will let you stay focused on where you are going. Then if you "slide back" it is a temporary situation not a total failure.
THE CONVERSATION STARTERS
  • Try to think back to your most important goal pre-COVID. Why was this your #1 goal and is it still important to you?
  • If you could only have two or three things on your New Year's resolution list, what would they be and why?
  • Do you look at New Year's resolutions as what you want to start doing on January 1 or what you'd like to have accomplished by December 31?