Saturday, June 24, 2017

Being kind to yourself

Being kind to yourself is one of those things that sounds easy in conversation but difficult in practice. Last year I spent a month being generous toward others in the hope that I would find fulfillment and increased happiness (I did). So my editor asked me to turn that generosity inward. Spend a month doing acts that allow me to appreciate myself, reflect and grow.

But the truth is, saying some Hallmark-worthy phrases to yourself isn’t an exact science for increasing your feelings of self-worth. At least not that we feel right away. But that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Growth—in any form—is never easy. It takes patience, persistence and… yes, self-compassion, a reminder we need more than once per day.

I failed (a lot) during this challenge. There were days I didn’t even want to get out of bed, let alone make it. There were times when I robotically performed my self-kindness acts just to check them off the list. It didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything. But we can’t always trust our emotions, can we? That goes both ways. In the same way I can’t trust that this exercise isn’t working, I also can’t trust that negative voice inside my head that tells me it’s pointless and definitely not working.

Being kind to yourself isn’t about feeling good. After all, doing what feels good isn’t always what’s best for us. But taking the time to compliment myself, to nurture my self-compassion—no matter how annoying in the moment—sends a message to future me that she, in all her imperfect 45-year-old glory, matters. That’s a gift worth giving.

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How Two Entrepreneurs Used Minimalism to Inspire Millions

Friday, June 23, 2017

I Spent 30 Days Practicing Self-Kindness—Here’s What I Learned
Cecilia Meis

I hate making my bed. Not in the sullen, rebellious teenager kind of way; I just want to get my day started, and spending time doing chores in the morning seems to impede that. So here I am on Day 6 of my 30-day self-kindness challenge, staring at a crumpled bed, toothbrush in hand, listing all the perfectly valid reasons to ignore it and try again tomorrow.

Jolie Kerr is passionate about bed-making. The cleaning expert, Esquire advice columnist, best-selling author and host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person, dedicated two episodes to the topic in conjunction with her annual 30-day challenge: Let’s All Make... Our Beds (#LAMOB). She argues that bed-making is part of being an adult and exponentially more beneficial than the simple act might at first seem.

I added “Make my bed” to the self-kindness list because it’s a habit I’ve never succeeded in keeping—and of course because my mom told me to. I can make my bed in 49 seconds. I counted. I have it down to a four-step science: Hiss at the cat until she runs, un-wad the top sheet and comforter from the floor, curse at the uselessness of top sheets, fling the pillows at the headboard. Forty-nine seconds flat. Kerr says she can do it in 30, but she’s had more practice and probably doesn’t believe in the messiness of cat-ownership.

While I procrastinate, Kerr’s words come to mind: “It’s a small thing,” she says. “But also not so small, because coming home to a tidy and pulled-together-looking bedroom will make you feel a whole bunch of positive things.” Among those are in-control, calm and grown-up. That last one sounds nice.

I quiet the excuses and reach for the cat. The reminder wasn’t always effective, but she was right. On the days I spent 49 seconds being a grown-up, I did feel more put together. And I’m not alone. In a survey conducted by, 71 percent of consistent bed-makers reported feeling happier. Sliding between close-but-not-Martha-Stewart-approved layers at night was hotel magical. Kerr says this feeling helps shift our mindset from bed-making as a chore to bed-making as a gift. What if I could apply that logic to every unpleasant task?

As that mindset evolved, I became more at peace with my journey to be kinder to myself. I learned some surprising benefits in the process; most important, that being kind to ourselves isn’t about feeling good in the moment, it’s about doing things we might not like right now as a gift to our future selves. It wasn’t easy; 45-year-old me had better appreciate this.

1. Complimenting yourself helps you see the positives Not just in yourself, but in your surroundings.

March 7, 2017:
I appreciate that you’re more comfortable wearing less makeup.
I appreciate that you took time to check on my friend Maggie even though you’re busy.
I appreciate that you attempted to write a third appreciation.

Harvard University researcher and SUCCESS Happiness Guy Shawn Achor touts the benefits of logging three things you’re grateful for each night because it trains your brain to scan the past 24 hours for positive things while pushing minor annoyances to the background. I turned the exercise on myself.

I wrote 93 nice things about myself in March. OK, I tried to write 93. It was more like 60. Some are heartfelt and thoughtful. Most lack inspiration. This exercise, intended to combat the flow of negative self-talk naturally produced in our brains, is just ridiculous enough to be effective. Science agrees. In one study, participants reported increased happiness at one-, three- and six-month follow-ups, even when they didn’t continue the exercise every day.

I can’t claim causation. After all, the Three Good Things exercise is competing against 30 others for the spot of “definitely increased happiness.” But I smile as I reread the scribbled compliments about having a good volleyball game or remembering to work on my posture (“so you won’t look 80 at 50”).

2. Saying no allows me to live on my own terms.

I’m a mean person. I hear this fact, sometimes paired with a high five but mostly a sad smile, often. Maybe it’s because of the way the edges of my mouth turn down—a maternal gift spanning at least three generations. Maybe it’s because I don’t always think before I speak, especially during times where sarcasm is appropriate, which—to me—is all the time. To balance that image, I often say yes to everything. Edit your 87-page master’s thesis? Sure. Drive 45 minutes to the airport at 4:30 a.m.? Love to.

I complain later. I promise never to say yes again. (I always say yes again.) But now, armed with this challenge, I set out to say no 20 days in a row. I made it to nine and that’s mostly because you can’t tell your boss no, challenge be damned. I avoided three awkward lunches, two editing favors and four nights out, which I spent with takeout and several chapters of Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.

I feel guilty saying no. As if I’m rejecting the person rather than the request. Christine Carter, Ph.D., a senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center in Berkeley, California, says every time we say yes to something we don’t have the time, energy or desire to do, we say no to ourselves. We send a message to our brains that our well-being and happiness fall second to a grammatically correct paper about the importance of a business marketing plan.

It’s true. I have spent dozens of nights doing favors for friends at the expense of my sleep and relaxation. Carter offers strategies for saying no without offending the friendship, such as “I want to do that, but I’m not available until next month. Will you ask me again then?” and “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.” I’m writing this section at 1:30 a.m. because I spent the past 2.5 hours explaining the basics of Photoshop to my friend’s mother. The tactics work about 50 percent of the time, but that’s 50 percent more than no tactics. Progress.

3. I have failed, but I’m not a failure.

One day I sit down to write myself a love letter. The blank page stares at me and suddenly I feel incapable of writing anything, much less a love letter. Of course you can’t finish the challenge, I think. You never finish anything. The words swirl through my head, familiar and abrasive.

The voice in our heads can propel us forward or cripple us with fear and doubt. Kevin Gilliland, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and author of Struggle Well, Live Well, says it’s about being active and purposeful with our thoughts. “The space between stimulus and response is a gift,” he writes. “When we think passively, we allow horrible, catastrophic thoughts to run around in our heads unchecked as if, No. 1, they’re true and No. 2, they’re having no impact on us.”
Maybe forgiveness, like kindness, is a habit that requires patience, understanding and—there it is again—a little compassion.

I never stopped to analyze how my negative self-talk impeded progress until I imagined saying the same words to a friend—an exercise Kristin Neff, Ph.D., a pioneering self-compassion researcher, uses with her clients. What I really needed to learn was self-compassion. It’s hard to stop the initial self-critical thoughts that pop up, but I can learn to respond with understanding and empathy.

I picture my best friend, Hannah, who recently landed a full-time job at an advertising agency right out of college. The week before her first day, she was stressed and nervous. I picture her face. “Of course you’re nervous. You don’t deserve this job,” I imagine saying to her. The words feel like a knife coming off my tongue, but it works. I would never say those things to her. I wouldn’t even say them to someone I don’t like. Instead, I imagine what Hannah would tell me about writing a love letter to myself. First she would laugh, because that’s what best friends do. Then she would say I’m the most talented writer she knows, because that’s what best friends do.

4. You might not feel the benefits. That doesn’t mean it’s not working.

Of the 470 boxes on the spreadsheet I use to track my self-kindness acts, 183 are marked red, incomplete. Improving yourself is hard. There is no secret recipe or easy shortcut. It takes time to build a habit and to forgive the times you don’t stick with the habit.

It’s easier to forgive other people. We don’t know their lives or the things they were going through when they wronged us. We don’t let ourselves off the hook so easily. When I fail, especially when I intentionally choose to put off something that will better me, the negative self-talk is deafening. So on Day 22, I set out to find self-forgiveness.
Step 1: Recall a mistake. Easy, I have a million to choose from. The worst of the worst surface and sets my heart on a sprint.
Step 2: Write down the mistake. Use detail. Cue rumination.
Step 3: Verbally forgive yourself.
Step 4: Wait.

My heart is still racing and I don’t feel better or healed or less embarrassed by the mistake that I refuse to have published in these pages. But forgiveness isn’t a binary state. No matter what words I say to myself, the feelings of guilt, hurt and embarrassment remain. Was I missing a step? In a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that participants who imagined receiving forgiveness reported “alleviated guilt and negative emotion, increased perceived control, decreased heart rate and increased parasympathetic activation.” My heart rate begs to differ.

Maybe, like most things in life, this process takes time. Although it was a relatively minor slip-up, I have spent more than 10 years reliving The Mistake That Shall Not Be Named. It seems unreasonable that I would expect relief after a two-minute exercise. Maybe forgiveness, like kindness, is a habit that requires patience, understanding and—there it is again—a little compassion.
5. Don’t take life (or yourself) too seriously.

I’m lying on a mauve couch in a secluded corner of my office attempting to take a guilt-free afternoon nap. If you’ve ever tried to nap at work, you’ll understand that it’s not as easy as it sounds. My thoughts wander; I picture my to-do list; I imagine my boss—who isn’t the kind to keep tabs—wondering where I am.

Every time we say yes to something we don’t have the time, energy or desire to do, we say no to ourselves.

I spend the whole 20 minutes adjusting my aching neck on a couch that was clearly built more for looks than nap sessions, instead of thanking the journalism gods for a challenge that includes taking naps at the office and being late to work because I had to watch the sun rise. I’m not sure if either of them are scientifically proven to boost my happiness, productivity, likeability, etc. But that morning on my back patio, phone still by my bed, hot coffee in hand, cat in lap, was glorious.

This challenge is a sobering reminder to stop taking myself so damn seriously. Seriously.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

6 Stress-Reducing Activities to Get You Outside

Soak up some vitamin D to boost your mental health.
Kacey Bradley

Stress is becoming a nearly unavoidable part of life. We stress about work, school, family gatherings and new or old relationships. Thankfully, summer is here and with it comes a plethora of activities that we can do to enjoy the new warmer weather. Outdoor summer activities are also a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Here are a few ideas for fun, stress-reducing outdoor activities to get you started.

1. Yoga

Yoga has long been proven to have boundless benefits. The complementary exercise that combines mental and physical discipline has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s a great choice for individuals of any athletic ability because there are so many different styles for everyone from beginners to yogis.
Outdoor yoga becomes more popular as the weather warms and you can comfortably take your yoga mat outside. This adds to the benefits that yoga already offers, because being outdoors naturally reduces your stress levels as well. A study conducted in Scotland found that individuals who lived in natural areas and spent time outdoors had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who lived in a city or other urban environment.
If you’re not comfortable with your yoga skills, look into some outdoor classes in your area. In some cities, large groups of yogis will get together to practice their skills in parks and other open areas, so you could look into that as an option.

2. Hiking

Depending on where you live, hiking might be a great option to help get out outdoors and reduce your stress levels.
Even if you don’t have hiking trails in your area, just taking a walk through a local park can help lower your stress levels. A study in the U.K. found that walking through parks or other natural locations has the same effect on your brain as a form of meditation, which has also been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health.
This doesn’t have to be an all-day trek; start by just going for a brisk walk in the park. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.

3. Biking

Biking is a great low-impact exercise that gets you outside. It can also be a great way to improve your physical health while getting some cardio in, too. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has found that exercise, especially cardio exercise, can help reduce stress. And one poll found that around 14 percent of individuals use exercise specifically to deal with stress.
Biking can also be a fantastic way to explore your city from a new perspective. Just bring a bike lock with you so you can protect your wheels while you explore a new restaurant or store that you might have overlooked if you did all your exploring by car.

4. Play

Play isn’t just for kids anymore. It’s a surprisingly effective way to stay healthy while reducing your overall stress levels. We’ve already discussed how being outdoors can reduce stress and boost your overall mental health, but it’s also the type of play that most people prefer—in nearly every study, participants responded that they preferred playing outside to indoor play.
This is why some companies are starting to design their playgrounds to cater to people of all ages. Check to see what sort of facilities are available in your area—not all playgrounds are designed to handle the weight of an adult, but there should be a few places where you can let go and just play.

5. Dog Walking

Spending time with a dog can be a great way to both reduce your stress and improve your overall health. Studies have found that pet owners enjoy reduced stress, higher levels of oxytocin (the feel-good chemical) and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Even if you don’t have your own dog, there are most likely shelters in your area that are looking for volunteer dog walkers to help their animals exercise and socialize while they’re waiting for their forever homes. Who knows, you might even find your new four-legged best friend while you’re volunteering as a dog walker.

6. Water Sports

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as getting out on the water. Whether you’re surfing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing on the shore, water sports are a great way to reduce stress. First, these sports have the same effect as any other exercise—lower cortisol levels and reduced stress. Additionally, a study found that living by the sea or just living near blue spaces helps reduce stress. The study, completed by the University of Exeter, found that the calming atmosphere created by the ocean trends to reduce stress by giving people a more positive outlook.
No matter what is causing stress in your life, take some time to enjoy one of these summer activities to send daily worries to the back burner and improve your overall outlook. You might be surprised how much better you feel.
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The Creative Process, Trusting Your Intuition & More With Sarah Jones

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seminar Of The Century – Live Stream

Change Begins With Choice

If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree.
Jim Rohn

Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make important changes in our lives. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause.
As Shakespeare uniquely observed, "The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves." We created our current circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth.
They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth. We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life: If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life—and it all begins with your very own power of choice.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.
But what is more painful is to love someone and never
find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who
means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was
never meant to be and you just have to let go.

3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a
porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

4. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose
it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.

5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an
hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it
takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Stop searching for your passion | Terri Trespicio | TEDxKC

Monday, June 12, 2017

Episode 1 | Advice From The Most Successful People On The Planet | Focus...

8 Daily Habits to Build Your Mental Strength

Mentally strong people seek strength and fortitude by building themselves up every day.
Casey Imafidon

One of the determinants for success and leadership is mental strength. To be a peak performer and attain excellence in any field, you need desire, effort and discipline. This goes beyond acting tough; you have to be willing to work hard and persist even in the face of struggles.
Mentally strong people are willing to seek strength and fortitude by building themselves up every day. Here are eight daily habits that can help you build your mental strength.

1. Be willing to learn.

We live in the Information Age, yet not everyone is taking advantage of all the opportunities it presents for learning. Mentally strong people do not see learning as a tedious process, but as an essential routine to develop their mental strength. You have to view learning as a way to improve yourself and as a way to surge ahead in a highly competitive world.

2. Be willing to adapt.

Change is a constant factor in life; you have to learn to deal with it because nothing stays the same. It takes mental strength to be flexible and adjust to outside circumstances. You cannot afford to play the blame game or complain about imperfect situations, so learn to work toward solutions regardless of changing circumstances.

3. Be a giver.

Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of the best-selling book Give and Take, believes that giving is an essential part of becoming successful. It takes mental strength to give or to want to go the extra mile for someone without expecting anything in return. Focus on adding value and contributing to the world.

4. Think outside the box.

Mentally strong people forge their own paths. Sometimes you need to be creative and think outside the box to reach your goals—to get out of your comfort zone or take an unfamiliar route. What is essential is that you are solution-oriented and see problems as opportunities.

5. Believe in yourself.

If you do not believe in yourself, who will? It’s not about what others have to say about you; it’s what you have to say about yourself. We all face challenges on a daily basis, but when you are firm and resolute about your desires, you will achieve the things you want most.

6. Be responsible.

Your successes and failures are on you, not anyone else. Although some people prefer to blame others, you become mentally strong by admitting errors and taking responsibility for the challenges you face. Show others what needs to be done instead of retreating in fear, and take pride in overcoming your daily encounters.

7. Be self-aware.

The right questions offer the right answers. It takes mental strength to understand your emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Even when you are having a rough day, you are aware of what you need to do to find peace. Assessing your emotions and knowing yourself can help you retain a calm attitude even during times of crisis.

8. Assume control.

In a fast-paced digital world, there are countless distractions. According to Neil Patel, entrepreneur and digital strategist, “We live in a time when we are constantly being marketed to through several media. The future belongs to those who can assume control.” Mentally strong people rise above negative situations and time-sucking distractions.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" Green Day cover performed by Lindsey Stirli...

We all love good music but this time check a different style.

How To Kick Ass During Summer as an Entrepreneur

The Scientific Explanation on Why We Attract What We Are

Amber Pariona

Haveyou ever noticed a pattern in your romantic relationships? We tend to have very specific behaviors with our partners and these behaviors tend to repeat themselves. Maybe you’ve been called “clingy” a couple times? Or maybe you run from relationship problems rather than work through them. Whatever your particular relationship pattern, it can all be explained by attachment theory.
Attachment theory helps explain the attachment style we use in our adult relationships. Understanding this, is the key to finding a lasting relationship.

Your attachment style determines who you attract.
How can understanding attachment theory help you find a partner? Well, your attachment style affects every aspect of your romantic relationships, from being attracted to a particular person to how the breakup goes. Learning more about your attachment style, helps you learn more about your personal needs and how to get those needs met.

Attachment theory can help you understand what strengths and weaknesses you bring to a relationship and how you can make those traits work in your favor. The more you understand your attachment style, the more likely you are to find somebody that matches and complements that style.
We are all wired to one of the 4 types of attachment styles.

According to attachment theory, there are 4 types of attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment

If you experienced a secure relationship with your parents and grew up feeling safe to grow and explore independently, you probably have secure attachment. This means that you tend to feel secure and close to your partner, but still respect each person’s independence in the relationship.

2. Anxious Preoccupied Attachment

If you have an anxious preoccupied attachment style, it might be hard for you to feel satisfied in your romantic relationships. In fact, you might be described as clingy or possessive as you rely on your partner to make you feel happy or to help you overcome your fears. You might even spend a lot of time worried that you will lose your significant other.

3. Dismissive Avoidant Attachment

If you are a dismissive avoidant, attachment theory says that you tend to isolate yourself from your partner. You might come off as unconcerned with your relationship and may go so far as to say that having a romantic partner isn’t that important. You try to avoid emotional connection with another person.

4. Fearful Avoidant Attachment

If you have fearful avoidant attachment, you probably experience two kinds of fear simultaneously: the fear of letting yourself get to close to your partner and the fear of being too distant with your partner. Living in this constant state of confusion takes a toll on your emotions. People have probably told you that you’re emotional and unpredictable because your moods tend to change dramatically and with no warning.

According to research, around 50% of the general population has a secure attachment style, 20% has an anxious attachment style, and 25% has an avoidant attachment style.

In the dating world, that is single and available adults, you’re more likely to find somebody who fits one of the avoidant attachment styles. Why? Because people with secure attachment have a higher probability of being in a committed relationship.

So, you’ve looked over the relationship styles of attachment theory and think you know which category you fit in. So now how do use that information to help you find a lasting relationship?
Some people tend to be drawn to a specific type of people.

Attachment theory tells us that people with certain attachment styles tend to be drawn to somebody of a complementary nature. What does this mean? If you’re an anxious or avoidant person, you might find a secure person to be a little boring. You crave drama, mistakenly believing it is the same as sharing romantic chemistry. A securely attached person isn’t going to provide that.

As a result, avoidant and anxious people often end up together. Two avoidant people make for barely there relationship; both people spend all their time avoiding each other. Two anxious people make for an unpredictable and high stress relationship; each convinced the other is going to abandon them.

But an anxious and an avoidant person together? These 2 attachment styles complement each other in that an anxious person is willing to wait around for their avoidant partner to commit to the relationship. This anxious attachment actually validates avoidant behavior by letting the avoidant know their behavior will be tolerated.

Securely attached individuals can be with any of the style according to attachment theory. This is because they can validate their partner’s feelings and help them overcome their fears. So how can you achieve a secure attachment style?
It’s possible to change your attachment style.

First, you need to accept your attachment type by being honest with yourself. If you are an anxious partner, admit it.

Then, ask yourself why. Think back to your childhood, write down all of your memories if you need to. Really look at what happened to you while growing up and try to make sense of it, try to determine how it is affecting your adult relationships today.

Making this connection can help you develop a more secure attachment style, which can help you find a lasting relationship.

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Develop an Insane WORK ETHIC #OneRule

Saturday, June 10, 2017

3 Ways to Break Free From Being "Too Busy"

The feeling of being busy is quite common but does it just actually mean that you’re tired or feeling overwhelmed or burnt out? Do you often answer the question: “How are you?” with “soooo busy” or “things are crazy busy at the moment!”

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” And there is truth to that. However, there’s a difference between working with purpose and intent vs. squeezing as much in as possible.

Your work is your own and you define your own success.

Busy makes people feel important. It feels good to be busy and there’s a connection to feeling accomplished or successful and wanting to share that with others. Everyone wants to be heard and appreciated. But “Busy-itis” can come from wanting the approval of others and it’s exhausting trying to keep up which can prevent you from doing work you love and being your most efficient and productive self.

It's less about actually being busy with a full calendar and more about how a person wants to be perceived. “Busy-itis” can also come from not being comfortable or wanting to sit with yourself alone. Making the time to slow down can actually take a lot of work. Sounds easy to “sit down” but quieting the mind and looking inward to discover that true confidence comes from within and you don’t need the approval of others. Your work is your own and you define your own success.

Getting over “busy-itis” can be a process but well worth it – there is a chance for you to enjoy every single day to the fullest AND feel proud of your work.

You manifest change and the opportunity for you to enjoy every single day instead of running around like crazy, trying to check everything off your to-do list, see your friends and family and make time for yourself - this doesn't mean taking a workout class to check another thing off your list but truly making time for self care and rest. There will be a moment when you realize that you’re spread too thin and that you chose this busy lifestyle. I’ve been there – you are just completely exhausted and left feeling drained. I wanted to keep pushing myself and kept coming up with the question, when will it ever be enough?

A very common symptom of "busy-itis" is brain fog. Brain fog can be as simple a forgetfulness, confusion or lack of mental clarity. Sometimes we move so fast throughout the day, we are on auto pilot and don't remember how we got from point A to point B. High levels of stress hormones can cause brain fog - feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, fear and frustration. When your mind is fuzzy, you can't retain knowledge as well.

Another common symptom is exhaustion. This is not the same as feeling tired but total depletion which can be caused by stress. Often times we manage our stress with keeping busy and distracting ourselves or trying to completely ignore what is actually going on. If you are frequently getting sick, this is another sign of stress overload or "busy-itis." Do you feel like you are coming down with a cold more often than your friends? Those who suffer from "busy-itis" especially need to listen to their bodies and not power through the day when they are feeling under the weather. If you don't break the cycle, "busy-itis" can snowball into a long term health condition such as depression or heart disease. Just remember that the mind and body are intrinsically connected.

When we learn to slow down, we begin to truly connect with our work and with others.

Getting over “busy-itis” can be a process but well worth it – there is a chance for you to enjoy every single day to the fullest AND feel proud of your work.
3 Tips for Those Suffering From “Busy-itis”

1. Create a morning routine: Enjoy your morning and wake a little earlier to make some extra time for yourself. This can mean journaling, reading or cooking breakfast. Having a morning breath work or meditation practice can be extremely beneficial and will prepare to take on the day! 

2. Redefine your to-do list: Instead of creating a long list, make your to-do list more of an exercise and ask yourself why next to each item. This will help you set your intentions for the day and remind yourself to acknowledge the tasks that you love doing. 

3. Remove the word busy from your vocabulary! Come up with another response for when people ask, “how are you doing”. Stop telling people how busy you are. Take a moment to confidently share the work you are doing which will have you build stronger relationships and have deeper connections in the long run!

After many years of “busy-itis” it may be tough to change your thought patterns and automatic responses. But, it is totally doable with these 3 simple steps. When we learn to slow down, we begin to truly connect with our work and with others.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

5 Ways to Have More Best Days at Work

Good days begin with being proactive, not reactive.
Teala Wilson

Think about the last time you had a “best day” at work. What happened?
For some people, it involves being a problem-solving hero. Others like being a valued contributor of a team working on a particularly challenging project. A really great day at work could even be a time when someone is trusted to get things done within a team.
Whatever the reason, something about your best day just clicked. And having one can be energizing and invigorating. It also makes you want to have more days like that.
If you could have more control over how many best days you have, I bet you’d jump at the chance. In fact, many people would. In 2016, The Conference Board, a global business research association, found that more than 50 percent of American workers were unhappy at work.

Why should you want to have more best days at work?

Back in the 1980s, the concept of work-life balance gained popularity as a way of separating the personal from the professional. Before that, the common term was work-leisure balance.
Both terms are a little misleading. The idea that you must balance work against life or leisure leads many to think that the scale tipping too far in one direction or the other means they’re shortchanging employers and colleagues, or friends and families.
The bigger problem is that 30-plus years of pitting work against life has us forgetting too often that we’re still living life when we’re at work. Our work ambitions are often rooted in personal ambitions. We are personally attached to the work we produce. We take personal pride in our work accomplishments and want to talk to our friends and families about them, and we want to talk about the great things happening in our life with the people we work with.
It makes sense that we want more best days at work because we want more best days in life.

What can you do to have more best days at work?

Let’s say you get a solid eight hours of sleep every night. That leaves you with 112 waking hours per week, more than a third of which you spend working if you’re a full-time employee. Having some control over whether those hours are good is important. Think about it. For you to enjoy life, and for your employer to benefit, it all starts with having someone who enjoys what they do for a living.
Here are some ways to help yourself have more best days:

1. Understand why your work matters.

If you walk into work every day without knowing how your work contributes to achieving team, department and organizational goals, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels with no real purpose. Even if you feel clear on how you fit into the big picture, take some time to sit down with your manager and discuss it. You might even get some insights about what you bring to the table that you hadn’t realized before. Better yet, you’ll begin to understand your why, something very deep and personal that can really open our eyes to realizations you might not have considered.

2. Ask for opportunities to grow.

Whether it’s taking a course that teaches new skills or assignments that build your knowledge and abilities, seeking out opportunities shows your willingness to meet new challenges. When you have a growth mindset in your approach to life and work, you can learn from everything you do.

3. Work with people you like and trust.

Working with a connected team that is invested in the work they’re doing is a gift. When trust is strong, people are more open to ideas, information and even being challenged. There’s a collective interest in achieving the goals of the team. Building solid relationships on teams can open the door to more opportunities to grow. It’s not about working with your best friends. It’s about working with people who help you be better.

4. Be confident in being yourself at work.

No one should have to put on a work persona when “clocking in.” It’s stressful to hold back parts of yourself or hide them out of fear you won’t be accepted. There’s some evidence it can hurt your career but it can also damage companies that don’t value inclusion.

5. Speak up when there are issues.

Just like certain aspects of our lives, work can be tough. But nothing will change if you don’t stand up to say something. Before you assume the answer to what you want is a no, have a conversation about it, especially if you’re considering looking elsewhere for work. Need more time with your manager? Ask. Not sure how you’re doing? Ask. Having a hard time with a project or another person? Speak up.
You can have more best days by staying authentic, honest and curious. When you take an active role in seeking out the opportunities, feedback and information you need to grow, you’ll feel more connected to the people around you and to your work, and more invested in the goals you’re working to achieve.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

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