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Microhabits – Doable Tiny Changes That Make a Huge Difference

Stretching before running is a microhabit that makes a difference.Change… you want it desperately, but at the same time it overwhelms you. How can you overcome your resistance to change? Sometimes it has to do with the size of change. If you’re willing to mindfully make tiny changes every day, you’ll obtain and surpass your wildest dreams – that’s what microhabits (some people spell it micro habits or micro-habits) are all about! 

In order to make big changes in life, there are two truths we accept:

  1. It takes time, perhaps even years, to obtain big goals. Is this a hard change for you? Then you’ve identified an area of thinking you can do some work on.
  2. You’ll be most successful, if you perform tiny changes or microhabits when you feel fresh and strong. For many people, morning is their best time.

To get you started, here are some examples of microhabits you can use to mindfully transform your life:

Embrace rejection. If you don’t try, you’ll miss out on so many wonderful opportunities. Try this microhabit: every day reach out to someone you’d like to work with, even if you’re certain they won’t respond. You have nothing to lose, if you don’t take rejection personally.

Start living your dream now. If you dream of being a writer, your microhabit might be writing one paragraph a day. If you dream of running a marathon, your microhabit could be running an extra 1/8th mile or 10 minutes each day. You’ll either find out that dream is not for you, or you’ll start building momentum toward living your dream. 

Track your spending. Create a greater awareness of money in/money out and time in/time out. You spend a big chunk of your life acquiring money, so it’s important to spend it in a way that supports the needs and wants of your future self over current ones. A microhabit might be tracking how much you spend on takeout or coffee; or only allow yourself 1 hour of TV per week.

Conserve your resources. Rather than purchasing something new, use or repurpose something you have. A tiny change could be mix, match and accessorize your clothes in new ways, so you don’t have to buy a new outfit.

Delight in maintaining yourself. Your mind, body and spirit need to be nurtured. View these activities as delights, not as necessary evils! Healthful food (eat one more serving of veggies and drink one more glass of water), restorative sleep (go to bed ½ hour earlier), invigorating exercise (add 5 more minutes daily), continuous learning (read during lunch break) are microhabits to improving these life essentials. Why not take my 7-Point Wellness Assessment and see how you’re doing in these areas?

Control your emotions. Before reacting to a situation, a new tiny habit would be to pause and assess its affect on your emotions by asking: “Why do I feel this way?”

Create an energy-stimulating environment. Clutter causes distress to our brains. Say “No” to people and things that don’t attract good energy. A new microhabit might be unsubscribing from physical magazines or online newsletters you never read; unfollowing people on Facebook; or filing that pile of papers on your desk.

Read more – scroll less. Reading engages your brain in a way that watching TV never can. (Click here to find some of my favorite books.) When you’re tired, a new microhabit might be taking a nap or going for a walk instead of channel surfing or scrolling through social media feeds.

Push yourself. Too often, our minds hold us back. When I’m doing my CrossFit, my mind gives out before my body does. I never would have known this, if I hadn’t learned to push myself. A new microhabit could be that you force yourself to do five minutes of whatever activity you need to do, even if you don’t “feel like it!” Then five minutes more…

Act on your good ideas. There are a few seconds between coming up with a great idea and when your brain kicks in and shoots it down. Learn to assess your ideas and take action quickly. A new tiny habit could be writing all of your ideas down and finish this sentence: “This is a great idea because…”

As you review this list you probably noticed, there’s a big difference between “living for the moment” (like attacking a big bag of chips) and “living in the moment” (mindfully extracting joy from each moment, knowing it supports the change you want to make).

Why not start identifying microhabits that will make a huge difference in your life? If you’d like an accountability partner, I’d love to help! Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Executive Leadership Coaching Isn’t Just for C-Suite Executives

Executive Leadership Coaching Isn’t Just for C-Suite Executives “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right…If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” ~ Napoleon Hill

When you look at industry or world leaders, do you see them as your equal? We tend to put them on pedestals and idolize them, don’t we? Like most people, you probably think, “I could never be like them!” However, they, as well as all C-level executives and corporate leaders, are only human. They don’t succeed in all of their glorious accomplishments by themselves. In fact, they especially need support, since they expend so much time, strength and energy sustaining a high level of excellence.

Who supports the men and women at the top?

World leaders, C-level executives and all those in corporate leadership positions carry a heavy load. The business and employees depend on these execs to establish a culture that allows each person to perform at their highest level of competency. Since everyone “below” them is depending on them, executive leaders can’t expect personal and professional support to come from within the firm. They reach outside for executive leadership coaches to mentor and support them. And these same services are within your grasp, too!

Executive leadership coaching unlocks leaders’ potential to maximize their own performance. It helps leaders work on emotional intelligence, authenticity, well-defined boundaries of accountability, clear and direct communication, problem solving, decision-making, self-awareness and self-management.

What specific benefits can you expect from executive leadership coaching? You’ll be able to…

1. Mindfully create a vision for each role you play in life – whether that’s as a business leader, marriage mate, parent, caregiver or community leader.

2. Clearly define core values you want to exemplify in your life, which will inform your intentions, choices, and actions in all relationships.

3. Work purposefully toward a promotion or improved status of life, by strategically fast-tracking your ability to perform necessary skills.

4. Gain a competitive advantage in your industry or team, as you improve and enhance specific leadership skills.

5. Have a safe place to nurture personal growth and challenge your beliefs, as you can openly and honestly discuss your vulnerabilities and fears.

6. Discover the soft skills, which make tactical challenges such as decision making, conflict resolution or meaningful communication easier. 

7. Explore and improve your self-confidence and emotional intelligence, so you know how to read the big picture emotional landscape.

8. Develop human effectiveness by building deeper relationships in work and in life.

9. Master delegating and trusting others to contribute to the organization’s success.

10. Make a difference and add value to any given situation, as you develop greater self-confidence and accept full responsibility for your decisions and actions.

11. Deal with complicated challenges that are unique to leadership challenges by discerning the best culture and environment for people to operate at their best.

12. Learn techniques for managing your emotions, so you think clearly no matter what happens.

Leadership comes naturally to a few, but most of us have to work hard to become leaders. Either way, quality leadership doesn’t just happen by chance. Leadership skills must be fully developed and honed. That’s where executive leadership coaches like me can help you reach and maintain your full potential. By employing somatic coaching methods, I help unlock your full potential for excellence. Are you ready to fly? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

“Best Friend Marriage” – Exploring How Labels May Limit Our Relationships

Is this fad of labeling relationships as a Best Friend Marriage is causing more harm than good.?Across the media, you’ll see famous couples, the ones that stay together, saying they’re married to their “best friend.” I’ve even said it myself. But I think it would be beneficial to delve deeper into this present fad of labeling relationships and see how close, lasting relationships are made and maintained.

Perhaps the confusion stems from there being so many types of love or relationships that have a sexual element…marriage, living together, life partners, committed relationships, best friends with benefits, hooking up or one night stands.  People are trying to describe their secure relationship as one that works. So they’ve hit upon the idea that being “best friends” is the highest form of praise. However, it wasn’t that many years ago when a dog was man’s “best friend.” Surely we can do better than that.

When you met your life partner, it was sexual attraction that brought down the barriers, so that you let this new person get close to you. However, relationships based solely on sexual attraction rarely stand the test of time. That expectation is unrealistic. There’s just nothing sexy about discussing bills or hanging out in the bathroom because you have the flu.

It’s only natural this highly charged sexual euphoria evolves. We should welcome this new phase in our lives. Because in its wake, (if you’ve been mindfully attending to yourself and your partner) you will discover a richer relationship based on trust that allows each of you to self-actualize.

One problem I see is that people become consumed by being what their partner wants them to be. Eventually you don’t know who you are any more. If you view your mate as your best friend, it may even make you think there’s no need to find friendships outside the marriage. Or you unrealistically expect your partner to fulfill ALL of your emotional and spiritual needs. Conversely, other people start to question what’s wrong because they have a happy marriage, but they consider someone else to be their best friend.

Another problem I see is that people think a best friend should accept you as you are unconditionally. In my mind, marriage is about bringing the best out of the person you marry. You push each other. You challenge each other. You encourage each other. You change each other.

Because not every spouse provides that kind of close relationship, you may not feel it’s enough to say “my husband” or “my wife”. You want the world to know that this person truly is the best, so you say, “He’s my best friend” in order to differentiate him from the deadbeats. I get it.

Rather than getting hung up on labeling your relationship as a “best friend marriage”, let’s focus on mindfully crafting a relationship that allows each to grow, explore, and become the best version of you possible.

A deep sense of security leads us to describe our life partners as our “best friend”. Yet this term “best friend” seems to be too limiting. There still needs to be a sexual component that maintains physical closeness and attachment. Yes, like friends you love doing things together; you love talking with each other intimately; you depend on each other. But there’s a closeness that transcends being friends. You have shared history, shared lives and shared dreams. You fill each other’s most intimate needs and desires.

Does that mean marriage, for you? I’ll leave that for you to decide. The key characteristics of any close relationship are mutual giving, mutual valuing, mutual respecting and mutual joy. Did you notice the word “mutual”? A close relationship has to be a two way-street. That’s how you get through life’s storms. You have each other’s back.

A lot of people don’t think they’re ready for the responsibilities of a long-term, loving relationship. The commitment of marriage scares them. This awareness means you’re open to achieving greater personal growth. I’d love to help you on this journey. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Why Looking for Happiness in Marriage Won’t Work

Expecting a constant state of happiness in marriage is unrealistic, because happiness is so dependant on changing circumstances. Marriage provides a secure union that promotes growth in each partner individually, and as a couple, which will ultimately foster great personal happiness.  You’d think with a headline that seems to criticize happiness in marriage that I don’t think much of marriage. You’d be mistaken. As my sweetie and I have recently celebrated our wedding anniversary, marriage is on my mind. What I am objecting to is the idea that the goal of marriage is happiness.

We’ve all read books or seen movies with the fairy tale promise of “And they lived happily ever after.” This creates the unrealistic expectation that finding the love of your life will make you happy forever. Not!

Let me just say that many of my clients are in committed relationships, without being married. I deeply respect their choice. The principles of marriage that I speak about today, can apply to all loving partnerships.

A successful, loving relationship, starts long before you ever meet your life partner. It begins with knowing and loving yourself. A practice of mindfulness will help you identify, acknowledge and accept your needs, desires, goals, values, and outcomes you want from life.

A loving relationship can’t be one-sided, focusing solely on your needs and wants. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to see your potential partner for who they really are, through the rosy glow of sexual attraction. It’s only when you know their needs, desires, goals, values and how best you can fulfill them, that you can be a good partner.

If you’re mismatched, you both will quickly become dissatisfied, frustrated and angry. It’s a terrible feeling to know you’re “alone,” while sharing the house with someone you thought was your soul mate. So how can you ensure that you’ll achieve the best outcome?

You can’t depend on, nor expect, someone else to make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Expecting a constant state of happiness in marriage is unrealistic, because it’s so dependent on changing circumstances. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not the real purpose of marriage. Marriage provides a secure union that promotes the growth of each partner individually, and as a couple. Therefore, rather than looking for happiness in marriage, I recommend you work on creating a growth-centered marriage.

Marriage exposes your limitations, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. You’ll be confronted with uncomfortable truths, especially around the intimate topics of sex and money. And when your plans are thwarted, adjustments will need to be made, which can severely challenge your commitment to each other. Through the best and worst circumstances in life, you’ll be called on to support and satisfy another emotional human being. No easy task!

For me, married life is sometimes painful and difficult and absolutely wonderful. To have my sweetie by my side through all the ups and downs is a delight. He has my back and that makes me feel secure. Marriage stretches our comfort zones and pushes us to our limits. As a result, we have found happiness, not in marriage, but in being the best people we can be in our married state.

When you love your partner you work on supporting, not pleasing, your partner. Yes, there’s a time for making sure your partner is comfortable and worry-free. But there is a danger of becoming overly accommodating as this could cause you to shield your partner from challenging and uncomfortable opportunities for growth.

True lovers dedicate themselves to each other, holding the well-being of each other as a sacred trust. You work at bringing out the best in each other. And that’s what leads to happiness.

If that’s the kind of happiness you desire, look for ways to improve yourself first. When you create harmony between body, mind and spirit you have more to give to others. My free 7-Point Wellness Assessment is a great place to start in this self-exploration. And if you’re up for some 1:1 coaching, so am I! Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Successful Women Avoid These Insidious Mental Energy Zappers

Successful women manage their mental energy like they manage their bank account. We make deposits into our mental energy “piggy bank,” by doing what we can to attract positive energy, including getting plenty of sleep, exercise and healthful food. Then we avoid these common mental energy zappers. By the end of the day, do you often find that you haven’t accomplished what you want, and you feel absolutely exhausted? You see other women living the life you want, and you wonder, “How do successful women do it? What do they know that I don’t?”

A key to their success is that they manage their mental energy like they manage their bank account. We all have to make deposits into our mental energy “piggy bank,” by doing what we can to attract positive energy. This includes getting plenty of restorative sleep, invigorating exercise and healthful food that support physical and emotional health. Then we have to wisely withdraw or spend the limited amount of energy that is in our personal energy “piggy bank”.

Problems arise when you have a constant drain that you’re not aware of. These unnoticed energy zappers can come from internal or external sources. And the only way to stop them is to become aware of them and make a conscious decision to stop them. A practice of mindfulness will help you become more fully aware of how successful women avoid these most common energy zappers:

  1. Successful women don’t give in to worry over things that likely won’t happen. We default to worst-case scenarios, as a means of protecting ourselves. But this can easily get out of hand if you don’t mindfully dismiss them. When you develop the ability to think three stages ahead, you’ll be able to discern which fears are worth responding to, and which are not.
  1. Successful women don’t get caught up in the drama. Women by nature are interested in other people. But successful women understand the danger of getting caught up in making someone’s drama their own. It takes a lot of insight to know the difference between real need and drama. If it’s only drama, it’s important to have pre-set boundaries that prioritize your well-being and keep you from being drawn in.
  1. Success women see distractions for what they are and avoid them. Learn to give your mental energy to only the things that have a significant impact on your life for the long-term. It helps to designate specific time blocks for crucial tasks, and then prioritize the rest. You will have to learn to say ‘NO!” To restore harmony try changing some simple routines in your life. For me, that means making my bed every morning. It sets the tone for the day and helps me develop discipline, which spills over into other areas of my life.
  1. Successful women know the difference between mindfulness and ruminating. Mindfully reflecting on your behaviors and interactions can help you improve. However, replaying certain scenarios or issues in your mind again and again is a waste of your energy, because this only leads to self-recrimination not self-correction.
  1. Successful women don’t compare themselves to others. Concentrate on showing up and doing your best. Get rid of the desire to be perfect. And try not to fixate on being right all the time. Avoid comparing your first attempts with someone’s finished product.
  1. Successful women don’t give weight to the opinions of anyone they wouldn’t switch places with. If you don’t want to be like them, why listen to them? It’s not important that everyone likes and agrees with you.
  1. Successful women understand the importance of self-care. You can’t perform your best if you’re tired, dehydrated, undernourished, or experiencing an imbalance in your life. So there’s no reason to feel guilty about taking care of yourself.
  1. Successful women know that the world needs their brilliance. You don’t have to justify yourself to those who are critical or cynical. You can’t serve everyone, and obviously the cynical are not the ones who need your services. Concentrate on the ones who do.
  1. Successful women train themselves to observe without judgment. While it’s important to overcome patterns of negative thinking, you can go overboard on positive thinking, because you’ll fail to see the realities of life. Learn to observe without wanting life to be more or less than it is.
  1. Successful women focus on what they want to grow. What you put your energy into is what will grow. Be cautious about becoming involved with something, because others expect it of you. Society tells us to care about many things that don’t really matter. Be your own person and don’t let others dictate what your life will be.

Like these successful women, are you ready to create a personalized approach for avoiding energy zappers that are holding you back? If so, I’d love to partner with you. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

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