How To Change Dual Rear Shocks on a Motorcycle

e

The reasons for modifying a bike are as complex and mysterious as the human animal itself. Riders are in search of better performance, killer looks, supreme comfort and heightened safety. What excites one rider may be a turnoff to the next biker. The same is true for replacing stock shocks with a modification. In the case of dual rear shocks, you can go with OEM motorcycle parts to keep the bike in line with the original, or modify your ride with aftermarket parts.

The process of changing dual rear shocks takes a little know how, but the more you learn the more options you have. Equipping your bike with the best motorcycle shocks is a great way to improve the comfort and safety of your next ride. The quest for a better bike is a tough one, but someone has to do it.

The Process of Changing Shocks

The job begins with a tough task: elevating the rear of the bike. This can be done with chock blocks, a motorcycle lift or an overhead suspension system. Since many people don’t have these capabilities, this may be the most difficult aspect of the job. The next steps are as follows:

  • Support the wheel and swingarm assembly
  • Remove the stock shocks by loosening the bolts
  • Attach the new shocks
  • Adjust for proper height
  • Secure the new bolts

A few tips will make the job easier. The rear wheel can be supported by using a wooden block and wedge-shaped shims. When loosening the bolts, it makes more sense to remove the lower fasteners first. In most cases, you will reuse the original hardware to attach the new shocks. Also, work from the top down on installing the new shocks.

Depending upon how much the new shocks have altered bike height, there may be a few additional tweaks to get your bike in riding condition. This could include adjusting the kickstand and checking ground clearance for foot pegs and the like.

The Benefits of New Shocks

If you have chosen properly, the new shocks should give you a smoother, safer ride. They will increase your comfort level as well as change the riding height of your motorcycle. You may experience better handling on the corners and even improved traction. The bumps in the road will be better absorbed so you don’t notice all the knocks on the dirt or pavement.

It pays to look closely at the stocks available to you. You can shop for shocks by Burly Brand, Drag Specialties, Factory Connection, Moose Racing, Pivot Works, Progressive Suspension and other top brands. Look for rear shocks from standard coil-over designs to gas-powered models with external reservoirs.

The Joy of Replacement

Whether you ride a cruiser, a street or an off-road machine, quality replacement parts keep your ride strong and tough. OEM ATV parts allow you to get mirrors, handlebars, exhaust systems, brake systems and more that are designed to keep your machine in the best condition.

Buy your items online for incredible deals and a massive selection of premium parts. The more options you have the better your ride will be with OEM motorcycle parts.

The Value of Clean Customer Data

Few things are as valuable to a company as their customers’ data.  

Using collected customer data, companies can try out all kinds of strategies to increase revenue. Companies can also use that customer data to tailor specific approaches for each client to ensure that the working relationship continues for many years to come.

The companies that also take care of customer data and use that particular resource wisely will put themselves in terrific positions for continued growth.

After years and even decades of dealing with customers from all walks of life, you will likely amass an impressive collection of their data housed within a humongous database. It’s great that you have all that data available, but can you be sure that everything there is still accurate?

You can only get the most out of customer data if it’s up to date. This is why it’s important for companies to partake in some data cleaning every now and then.

What Is Data Cleansing?

Before discussing why having clean customer data is so important, it helps to know what data cleansing actually is.

To put it simply, data cleaning is a process that focuses on purging incorrect pieces of information from a database. The bit of data can be incorrect because it’s incomplete, because it was not properly encoded the first time around, or simply because it’s inaccurate.

Crucially, data cleaning is not just about erasing erroneous entries in the database. During the data cleaning process, entries can be corrected for spelling, formatting, and a variety of other issues. Data cleansing may also involve optimizing a certain database so that it becomes easier to access.

Given all the tasks involved in data cleansing, you can even think of it as a useful professional development resource that can help your employees become more fluent in technical tasks.

Data cleansing can be done in a variety of ways.

It can be done through the use of multiple spreadsheets or through certain functions. If your business is making use of CRM software, there are programs that can also be used for cleaning up customer data more efficiently.

Gartner MDM analysis may help you figure out which type of data cleansing method you need to employ. However, there are also other factors to consider such as the size of your customer database.

Why Is Having Clean Customer Data Important?

You probably won’t be able to fully appreciate the importance of having clean customer data until you’ve dealt with the ill effects of having incorrect customer data.

If your employees have to constantly double check entries and accounts because they can’t rely 100 percent on the customer data in front of them, that’s going to have a huge impact on your business.

Think of how much time is wasted regularly on your employees having to re-check the database whenever they are retrieving information from it. That’s time that they can put to use in more productive ways.

Having clean customer data will also help improve your retention rates. By allowing incorrect data to remain in your database, you could be needlessly risking the loss of customers. If you aren’t regularly checking to see if phone numbers and email addresses are still accurate, you may lose contact with a previous customer and all the future business they could have provided.

Clean customer data will also help bring in new clients to your business. If you’re using CRM software to handle your data, you should be able to form profiles of your customers and see why they have chosen to engage with your business. Using that information, you can then come up with additional marketing strategies that are designed to land similar prospects.

The information contained within your database is only useful if it’s accurate. You can’t allow such an important resource to lose its value over time because you didn’t maintain it properly. Regular data cleansing should keep your customer database in prime condition and your bottom line will be thankful for it.

Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is small business blogger and freelance writer.



4 Types Of Refrigerants That Are Safer Than R22 Or Freon

The most common hydrochlorofluorocarbon or refrigerant used in HVAC-R systems is Freon or R22. Freon is energy efficient and compatible with most of the HVAC-R systems on the market. That is why it was so popular for many decades. But the experts found out that R22 isn’t as healthy for the environment as they once thought. In fact, R22 depletes the ozone layer of the planet. The ozone layer does an important job of protecting life from the harmful UV rays of the sun. R22 depletes the ozone layer and is known as an ozone-depleting substance or ODS. Hence, the leaders of the world convened at Montreal in 1987 in order to sign the Montreal Protocol – which decided to phase out ODS components from being used in the HVAC-R industry. This article provides information on 4 types of refrigerants that are safer than R22 or Freon.

R22 is being phased out in several stages. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in the United States decided to ban the use of R22 in new HVAC-R units from 2010. But the substance was produced in limited quantities to service the current HVAC units out there. The final stage of the phase-out will be completed in January 2020. You won’t be able to purchase Freon even to service your existing unit after January 2020. Even today, a pound of R22 is sold at an exorbitant price of $115. That is due to the limited quantity of R22 on the market. The suppliers who have stocked up the substance charges an exorbitant price for a pound of R22. Hence, you need to replace R22 with a safer alternative refrigerant such as R410A or TdX 20. These substances are environmentally friendly compared to R22 since they don’t damage the ozone layer of the planet.

Since there are millions of HVAC-R units in the country, homeowners, business owners, and HVAC technicians should find an alternative substance to replace Freon when the substance is finally banned in 2020. The more you delay to make this important shift, the more money you will lose in the process. That is why you should be making the shift from R22 to an eco-friendly refrigerant and save your hard earned money in the process. That way you will save money as well as do your part toward the environment. You will also be able to reduce your carbon footprint in the process. That is why you should be making this important shift right now.

R410A – This is one of the best alternative refrigerants on the market today. It is a blend of two hydrofluorocarbons such as pentafluoroethane and difluoromethane. It is a non-ozone-depleting substance that comes with a better energy efficiency compared to R22 or Freon because the former doesn’t have chlorine in its make up. On the other hand, it is friendly towards the environment. In fact, R410A is much more suitable for your HVAC-R system compared to R22. The better and refrigeration capacity of R410A help improve the performance of your system. Should you decide to shift from R22 to R410A, you should replace the entire unit with a unit that uses R410A. In fact, R410A won’t run on HVAC units that run on R22. That is one disadvantage of shifting from R22 to R410A. You will have to spend more money in the process since you have to replace the complete HVAC unit with a unit that is compatible with R410A. But you have no choice other than making the shift right now since R22 damages the environment.

R404A – This is another alternative refrigerant that is recommended to replace R22. The former has an Ozone Depletion Potential of 0 – which is ideal for the environment. This alternative refrigerant is ideal for HVAC-R systems that operate at temperatures between -45° C and 15° C. That is why it is mostly used in the industrial and commercial transport sectors due to its temperature range. The makeup of R404A is quite similar to R22 – but it has a better performance than the latter. On the other hand, R404A doesn’t have a rapid reaction to water and air. Hence, it is considered quite safe for many applications. The substance is odorless, non-flammable, and colorless – which are some of the many advantages of the refrigerant.

R134A – This is a haloalkane substance that has thermodynamic properties. It is made with a single component and isn’t blended as many other alternative refrigerants on the market. Hence, you don’t need multiple recovery machines when working with this alternative refrigerant. This refrigerant is considered a much better option than R22 since it doesn’t damage the ozone layer of the planet.

TdX 20 – This is one of the most viable alternative refrigerants on the market today. In fact, it improves the performance of the HVAC-R systems by increasing their energy efficiency. TdX 20 is a non-ozone-depleting substance since it doesn’t damage the ozone layer of the planet. The substance will reduce the electricity consumption of the HVAC unit by at least 5-25% – depending on what type of HVAC-R unit you are using. It reduces the load on the compressor and coil of the system and prolongs the lifespan of the system. There are many other advantages of shifting from R22 to TdX 20. In fact, TdX 20 works on almost all R22 units without any problem. That way you don’t have to spend money to replace the complete system when making the shift from R22 to TdX 20. That is why the majority of clients and HVAC-R technicians prefer to use this substance when shifting from R22 to an alternative refrigerant. It will save you a lot of time and money in the process.

R22 will be completely banned in January 2020. You should use an alternative refrigerant in your HVAC unit before Freon is phased out. There are many alternative refrigerants on the market today. The aforementioned article provides information on 4 types of refrigerants that are safer than R22.

5 tips to setting up a successful move across the country

Relocating isn’t exactly an ‘up and go’ thing. Relocation requires lots of preparation. You must start by notifying service providers about your forthcoming change of address. Key among service providers include; banks, insurance provider, and mail delivery.

To ease the pressure of relocating off your shoulders, we’ve compiled a few tips to setting up a successful move across the country.

1. Visit your soon-to-be area of residence

Get all the necessary information about your new location. It’s possible to conduct internet research about a locality; however, an actual visit puts you in good stead. Take a trip and get a real feel of how it feels to reside in your soon to be residence.

Draw up a list of things you wish to see or assess like; proximity of schools, hospitals, shopping malls, public transport and other vital utilities.

2. Seek assistance and prepare well in advance

Sort out your stuff by packing essentials first and lastly with non-essentials. Alternatively, organize for a sale or giveaway for things that you don’t need to lessen your load.

You may seek help during packing from neighbors, friends or family to lessen your workload and get a chance to bid them your final goodbyes. Appreciate their kind gesture by making or ordering for lunch.

 

Start packing a few days or weeks in advance as it ensures you start your move on the right note.

3. De-assembling your furniture

De-assembling your furniture makes it more portable and protects it from damage during the move. Unscrew your beds and other furniture that’s better of de-assembled. Seek the assistance of a if you encounter problems with unscrewing any of your furniture.

Use a high gauge adhesive to hold all the de-assembled parts and their nuts and screws to in one place. Scattered pieces and screws pose problems during assembling.

4. Label your packages

Labeling your boxes helps during the transfer of your valuables to and from the truck. Labeling also helps in determining how to handle various items. For instance, you wouldn’t drop a box labeled ‘plates’ as it would result in breakages unlike a package labeled ‘spoons.’

Also, labeling helps in placing items where they belong upon arrival. You don’t want to put your kitchen wares in the bedroom and vice versa.

5. Special package

We all have items that we hold dear, like a painting, flowers or plants that we can’t afford to leave behind or lose during moving. Prepare a special packaging for them to guarantee their safety and your peace of mind.

Key takeaway

Do not lay on yourself all the burdens of moving. Involve your neighbors and friends. From the packing and all the way to unpack on the other side can be an exhaustive affair. Every help you might get is essential. It will help you get settled quickly.

Tips for Moving to a New Area

Moving to a brand new area can be exciting, but it can also be a challenge. Whether you’ve moved yourself, or yourself and your entire family, transitioning from one home to another can be difficult, especially if that home is far away. It’s not easy to make the move from one state to another, from the city to the country, or from the familiar to the strange.

While this transition will be a challenge, you can equip your family for this situation. For the best of luck with your move, consider the following tips!

Budget Before You Go

No move is cheap. The farther you’ve traveling, the more expensive your move will be. When you move across town, friends and family can help you make the move in one day. When you move across states, you must hire movers to see your stuff out of your old place and into your new one. Movers can be expensive, so budget for all the extra costs they’re incur. You might need to fly your family to your new home, or stop overnight on the drive there. Before you make any other plans, know your budget for the move.

Rethink Your Transportation Needs

If you’re changing city life for country life, or country life for city life, your transportation situation may change a great deal. In a large city, you won’t want to own more than one car. In huge cities, like New York, many residents don’t own car at all, and rely instead on public transportation and uber rides. Parking can be both expensive and a hassle, so consider selling your extra cars before you move to the city. If you’re heading from a car-less city life into the country, head to a car dealership in Alabaster, AL and purchase one or two vehicles for your family.

Find a Good School

If you have kids, one of the first things you must figure out is schools. If you’re moving to a large area, like Chicago, your location might determine the type of schools they get into. You’d want to angle your move around the best schools, making sure they end up in a quality environment. You might know your general plan (“We want to move to Atlanta”), but the actual location of your new place will be determined, in part, by the opportunities it offers your kids.

Locate the Nearest Urgent Care

Once you make your move, there are a few things you should do right away. One of the most important is locating the nearest urgent care. In a new city, you may be unfamiliar with the hospitals and how to get there. When a family accident occurs, and it’s not quite bad enough for the ambulance, you must take your family member to a place for urgent care in Wall, NJ or New York, NY, and the last thing you want is to get lost. Know where your closest urgent care clinic is, and memorize the best path to get there.

Meet Your Neighbors

As soon as you’ve settled it, it will be time to start meeting the neighbors. Neighbors are a valuable asset, no matter where you live, since they can keep an eye on your place and call the police. Make friends with your neighbors whenever possible, and make note of anyone who seems like bad news. For the most part, your neighbors will prove to be valuable allies, so try to connect with them soon after you move in.

Join a Community Group

When you move to a brand new area, you often leave some friends and family behind. In a brand new place, it’s normal to feel alone and a little isolated at first. You can help alter your situation by joining a community group as soon as possible. Start getting involved at your church, a non profit, or a club to start making new friends. The more involved you become, the faster you’ll make connections, and the easier it will be to develop lasting friendships.

Don’t Settle on Your Home

You might love your new space, or you might have settled for whatever you could get. Perhaps you moved to an apartment, unpacked half your stuff, and then started waiting for a home to appear on the market. It can be stressful for everyone to be in transition, and a comfortable home is a huge part of feeling settled. Instead of waiting for months for your ideal home to be for sale, you could rely on a trusted home builder in Royersford, PA to create your ideal living space for you.  

Accommodate Climate Changes

When you move to a new area, certain things about the climate might change. If you’re used to tough winters, you might find hot weather in Texas unbearable for awhile. If you move to Wisconsin, you might have the opposite problem. Your wardrobe must change a bit when you move, and so might your habits. If you move to Alaska, you’ll experience a lot more sun, and a lot more darkness at certain times of the year. Plantation shutters in Brisbane will be a must to block out that sunlight when you go to bed, and you should consider light therapy for the darker months.  

Rely on Family and Friends

Often, when we move to a new place, we’re moving away from the people we love. If, on the other hand, you’re moving closer to family or some of your friends, make sure you rely on them during your move. A good friend or sibling will offer a spare bedroom or a couch as you scout out apartments or homes. After you’ve moved, you should ask for their insight on the best grocery stores, restaurants, parking techniques, and more. When your move is a bit of a culture shock, a friend or family member can help ease that transition by telling you everything they know about your new home.

Age

The last thing to consider is age. As we get older, it is important to keep in mind that we wont always necessarily stay in the house forever. While this is the ideal, the motto “Hope for the best, plan for the worst” becomes more and more important. Planning ahead and communicating with your children, siblings, or friends on what you are going to do if the time comes where you can’t take care of yourself anymore is very important. There are tons of tools on the internet to assist in finding assisted living for the elderly, among other options.

The Best Digital Camcorder Buying Tips

The pace of change in the video recording industry is so fast that buying a decent camcorder can be challenging. There are so many models and features in modern digital camcorders that customers are often left confused on which model is ideal for them and what features are important and what isn’t.

 

This article will help you to understand all that you need to know about camcorders and what model suits your best for you personal and professional requirements. We will also discuss the technical jargons when buying a camcorder. But before we delve in – let me remind you all the opinions discussed here are my own and this buying guide only focuses on camcorders that are highly rated by Techwhippet.

Let’s get started:

 

Memory Cards

Most camcorders today use flash memory as its storage format. These camcorders record directly memory SDHC flash memory cards. Aside from external memory cards, there are dual flash camcorders with built-in flash memory. These camcorders can record video to its internal drive. Flash memory is the primary format of storage because it doesn’t have any moving parts and uses less power resulting in longer battery life for your camcorder or digital camera.

 

4K Ultra HD Camcorders

The camcorder industry is rapidly changing. At first, it was Standard Definition (SD). Then the consumers were given the taste of Full HD camcorders. Now, it is 4K camcorders. 4K camcorders have four times the resolution of normal Full HD camcorders.  Cinemas project movies at 4K resolution, so if you’re recording videos at 4K, then in a sense, you’re a movie theater in your hands. TV manufacturers are also transitioning to 4K, so if you want to make your videos future proof, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t invest in a 4K camcorder.

 

Video Quality

Most camcorders can shoot decent videos in bright sunlight or in places with plenty of light. It is in low light conditions where most camcorders, as well as digital cameras, struggle. However, camcorders with larger video sensors tend to outperform than camcorders with smaller ones in low light conditions. The larger the image sensor is, the more light the camcorder can capture, which results in more detailed videos. But, camcorders with larger sensors are expensive. So, if video quality, colors, and details are important to you, always buy a camcorder with a larger sensor. A camcorder with a larger sensor will always have better and improved low light performance than camcorders with smaller sensors. Camcorders with larger sensors also provide better depth of field and dynamic range. The largest image sensors you can find on consumer camcorders today are 1-inch.

 

Professional Video Quality

If you don’t want to compromise on your video quality, then you should choose a professional quality video camera.  Professional video camcorders are much larger than consumer camcorders. It’s because the video sensors and the lenses are bigger. This helps as larger sensors will provide higher quality videos and the large lenses offer improved low light performance and light gathering. These camcorders also come with interchangeable lenses, wireless or separate microphones, and many other options, which aren’t available on typical cameras/camcorders.

 

Image Stabilization (IS)

Image stabilization is an extremely useful technology that reduces the blurriness in the video which you can get in low light conditions, riding in a vehicle, walking, or using a zoom lens.  As most people record using handheld camcorders, this is a valuable feature to have. Image stabilization also helps improve video quality when using the zoom lens to its full magnification. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is considered to be better than Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS).  Expensive, high-end camcorders have better image stabilization than cheaper camcorders.

 

Optical Zoom Vs Digital Zoom

Digital zoom is inferior to optical zoom. Digital zoom is the electronic representation of optical zoom. With digital zoom, you can lose resolution when cropping the image. You do not lose resolution with optical zoom. So, when purchasing a camcorder, always consider optical zoom.  The top-rated camcorders have 10x optical zoom which works great for most purposes.

 

Built-in Wi-Fi

Most camcorders have built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to transfer your pictures and videos from your camcorder to your computer, TV, tablet, or smartphone wirelessly. In addition, you can also connect your camcorder to the internet through Wi-Fi and upload your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.

 

Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Viewfinders were common on camcorders before, but these days it is rare to find one in most consumer camcorders unless you get a professional model. The biggest benefit of viewfinders is that you can see your subject while recording outdoors in the bright sun as it is difficult to see the LCD as it is washed out in those light conditions.

Microphone

Most camcorders have built-in microphones and record in stereo sound. If you aren’t satisfied with the sound quality of your camcorder, you can buy higher quality microphones.

Night Vision

High-end camcorders have the ability to video in dark conditions using infrared light. Various models from Canon and Sony provide you with this feature.

LCD Size and resolution

The LCD screen in digital cameras/camcorders is where you can view the menus as well as compose your videos. Most camcorders have touchscreen LCDs which is more easy and intuitive than manual buttons. The larger the LCD screen and resolution, the better.

Built-in Video Flash/Light

Many camcorders have a built-in flash for taking still pictures and video light for recording videos in low light conditions. There is also an option to attach external flash units and lights in most camcorders as accessories.

Manual Focus

Most people rely on their camcorder automatic focusing during recording. However, there may be situations where you may need to manually focus the camcorder such as low light, macro, indoor shots, or recording through the glass. All professional camcorders have manual focus capabilities.

Video Resolution

Camcorders can record in 1080p, 720p, 60p and 120p resolutions. 1080p is the currently the highest quality you can record. Remember, the resolution isn’t everything. You also need to keep in mind the frame rate of the video. Normal video is recorded at 30fps. FPS stands for frames per second. Movies are shot at 24fps (24p). Some camcorders can record at 60fps, which make the videos extremely smooth and the footage can be used for slow motion.  With the adoption of 4K Ultra HD, some camcorders can shoot 4K videos as a high as 60p.

Author Biography

Fredrick Nicholas is a well-rounded blogger who has a wide variety of interests and specializes in doing in depth research for tech. He notorious Write, Editor, Blogger. Love to blogging. He currently is a blogger for https://techwhippet.com in a genuine effort to provide the best quality content to his readers.

Researching Your Best Options for Heavy Duty Performance

The equipment in your factory perform vital functions on a daily basis. They work together to help you and your employees put out the products and services for which your company has become well-known.

Without this equipment, your profits may take a quick nose dive, and your future could become imperiled. Rather than risk your bottom line on faulty equipment that you might take for granted, you can keep all of the carts, gurneys, tables, and other gear in working order by keeping a healthy stock of axles, screws, large caster wheels, and more on hand.
Knowing What Selections to Make

As a business owner, you probably do not spend a lot of time shopping for small and seemingly minuscule parts for your factory. You focus more on making the products and services that bring in the profits and keep your doors open for another day. In fact, you may not even know what kinds of parts your equipment uses to stay functional.

It is only after one or more of the important gear that you use each day breaks down and takes its toll on your cash flow that you realize the role this equipment plays. You want to get it fixed or replaced quickly so your bottom line does not take a hit.

Rather than drive aimlessly all over town wondering what parts store to shop at, you could get a faster and better selection of casters and more when you shop online. The website shows you all of the heavy duty items for sale that may serve the purpose for which you are looking. You can order the necessary quantity and know that it will be delivered in a matter of days to your home or business. This also allows you to compare different brands to find the best options, like these Colson caster wheel sets which are top of the line.

Once you make a commitment to keeping these parts on hand, you may then resolve to stay informed about them. This information will keep your next shopping effort relatively free from complications. You will know what to look for and what role the casters will play once they are delivered.

The foremost way to get this information involves signing up for the company’s mailing list. The list will be delivered to your email inbox. You will know right away if the company is selling anything that you might want to buy and keep a healthy stock of in your factory.
Keeping on Budget

As a business owner, you may have a healthy cash flow to your credit. However, this fact does not equate into a desire to overspend.

You may need to stay on a precise budget and avoid spending too much. You will know the price for each caster when you shop on the website. The company displays the prices so you can comparison shop and only select the items that you really need or for which you can afford to spend the money.
The healthy stock of casters and other parts that you invest in can make all of the difference in keeping your factory up and running. You will have what you need on hand to make vital repairs and upgrades. You also will not need to relegate your choices to what the local stores have on hand. The website is designed to be budget and user-friendly for factory owners like you.

5 Ways to Avoid Awkward Silences on Your First Date

The first date is at once the most exciting and most terrifying step in the dating process. On one hand, you could be starting a new era of your life ― one filled with love and connection to a person who truly understands you. On the other hand, a first date is almost certainly going to be a big awkward.

Fortunately, with some preparation, you can mitigate the worst of the unease. Here are a few ways to cut silences short and get comfortable on any first date.

1. Have a Plan

Most people cannot claim improvisation as a strength, so the more you can plan ahead of time, the more comfortable you will be during your date. At least the day before your outing, you should know exactly what the two of you will do together and exactly where you will do it. You might even plan other aspects of the date, like your outfit or your topics of conversation (see below). Then, when the first date comes, you will be thoroughly prepared to overcome any awkward challenges.

Having a plan serves an even greater purpose than mitigating any first-date awkwardness: It shows that you have initiative and forethought, which are subtly sexy traits most people want in their mates. Still, it is considerate to inform your date about your plans in case he or she isn’t keen on certain activities.

2. Learn Some Icebreakers

Getting to know a complete stranger is stressful ― how can you possibly understand another human being? Do you start with softball questions about his or her job and hobbies, or do you go straight to learning his or her life values and future plans?

Most experts advise against delving too deeply into potentially traumatic or controversial topics on the first date, which means you should stay away from issues like politics or past indiscretions. You should also avoid snore-inducing lines of conversation, like recent dreams or minor health problems. Instead, you can peruse icebreaker lists to find inspiration for your first-date chatter. These will help you and your date reveal important information in a lighthearted and comfortable way.

3. Pay Attention to Body Language

A famous study found that people communicate primarily non-verbally: More than 93 percent of a person’s thoughts and opinions are conveyed through his or her body language and tone of voice rather than the content of his or her sentences. Therefore, it is crucial that you pay attention to your date’s non-verbal cues to understand what he or she is saying. You will be better equipped to steer the date away from any looming awkwardness, especially unwanted physical interaction.

It is important to watch your own body language as well as your date’s. Sometimes, you might encourage the wrong opinion with subconscious actions or behavior, and being careful about your expression and limb placement will help your date understand you, as well.

4. Get Active

The simple act of sitting across from your date is actually one of the hardest ways to achieve first-date success. When you are limited to the dinner and drinks on your table, you and your date will likely run out of conversation topics fast.

A much easier date ― and usually a much more memorable one ― gets you both up and interacting with the world around. Not only do active dates provide a built-in distraction during lulls in conversation, but they allow you to hide your nervous, fidgeting fingers. Here are some suggestions for lively first dates:

  • Attend a local arts or food festival
  • Walk around the park
  • Hike an easygoing mountain trail
  • Bike around your favorite neighborhood
  • Play a round of golf (or mini-golf)

5. Sink Into It

Ultimately, unless you and your date were made for one another, you will experience a bit of awkwardness on your first outing together. However, a tiny amount of discomfort isn’t a good reason to end the date early. Those mutual feelings of self-consciousness arise from positive emotions, like excitement and attraction, which means nervousness is a good sign: It shows you want to make a good impression.

While it is definitely a good idea to have a plan and to keep your date engaged, it can also be useful to allow a little awkwardness on your date. When a silence starts, you should try to feel comfortable in it by feeling the sensations in your body, noting your breath, and sinking into the tension. Perhaps your date will find your coolness in the face of awkwardness even more attractive.