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How to Keep Your Motivation High Over the Long-Term

If you’d like to know how to keep your motivation high, despite whatever happens in your life, please pay attention to these seven tips, which include your reason WHY, your decision-making and planning skills, and the way you fuel your inspiration and your self-care.“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

It’s hard to stay motivated day in and day out. One day you’re fired up, the next day you might feel like you’re walking through sludge to get anything done. And we’re constantly being bombarded with distractions. Many people call it suffering from the “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.” It’s so easy to lose focus. And without focus, you’ll lose your motivation. If you’d like to know how to keep your motivation high, despite whatever happens in your life, please pay attention to the following tips.

How to keep your motivation high through life’s ups and downs…

1. Know and always remember your ‘why.’

Your goals and plans are fueled by your big ‘why’. Why you want something determines how you’ll go after it. So what do you really care about? What are you willing to sacrifice to get it? How can you achieve it, while staying true to yourself, your values, and your dreams?

2. Create an action plan every night.

When you go to sleep with your next day planned out on paper, you’ll sleep better and get more done the following day. Make sure you list two or three action items that get you closer to your big goals. This will keep you focused on what really matters, so you can wake up early and get much more accomplished.

3. Keep your strength up through restorative sleep.

Without sleep, you won’t have the energy you need to keep your motivation high. Resist the urge to stay up late into the night, pushing yourself because you hope to get everything on your to-do list done. Sleep deprivation assures that you won’t function properly that night or for days to come. You’ll accomplish more, with higher quality of work, if you make sleep a priority. Cut work off at a reasonable hour, relax and get your 8 to 10 hours. 

4. Begin each day with constructive “me time”.

In order to keep your motivation high, it’s absolutely necessary to start your day by becoming centered and setting your intentions for the day.

5. See distractions for what they are and avoid them.

There are so many things that vie for your attention, so it’s important to make sure of what’s really important for TODAY and ignore or avoid everything else. It helps to carry a notepad and capture ideas you want to try in the future. Then it’s okay for your brain to get back to focusing on today. You don’t have to be continually trying new tools, apps, or methods.

6. Regularly seek inspiration.

Just as you need a regular supply of nourishing food for your physical health, you need a regular supply of inspirational food for your soul and spirit. Seek out inspirational people who are already living the life that you want to live, and avoid people who affect you negatively.

7. Fight procrastination.

Once a minute passes, you can’t get it back. Becoming more mindful helps you notice how precious each moment is, so you choose not to waste time. Greater awareness of your needs and desires helps you make better decisions. For example, you’ll say, “No I won’t watch TV, because I want to watch this video so I can learn this new skill.” Mindful decisions will help you get the most out of every second of every day.

How will you keep your motivation high? Which one of these tips resonated most with you? Does one highlight an area in which you’d like more accountability? If so, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Career Change at 30, 40, 50? It’s Never Too Late to Live Your Dream

Career Change at 30, 40, 50? It’s Never Too Late to Live Your Dream “We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg

I love my job! I actually do! Recently I took a vacation in Italy, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to see my sweetie and start working with my clients again. I love making a difference in their lives. I confess, though, that when I made my career change, I was apprehensive. But looking back, I don’t regret it. It’s well worth making a career change at 30, 40 or later, if what you’re doing right now is not filling your soul with joy and happiness.

In today’s entrepreneurial world, you can turn your passion into your source of income too. A job doesn’t have to be about being a cog in a wheel or putting in the time so you make enough money to support yourself. If you can dream it, you can make it happen, if you’re not afraid to take the leap.  But how do you get from here to there?

I know it can be scary to make a career change at 30, 40, 50 or older. By this time, you’ve settled into a certain lifestyle. You may still have college debts to repay, and if not that, then credit card debt may have you firmly in its grips. Besides that, family responsibilities, such as children, need to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, the invincibility you felt as a youth has faded. Your dreams may not have been realized. Life may have delivered some serious knocks that make you doubt yourself and your abilities. I get it.

That’s why it’s so important to ask some tough questions and be totally honest with yourself. It takes courage to investigate and uncover your deepest thoughts, desires and values. Too often we make choices based on what we think others expect of us. But that’s a poor way to live.

If you’re ready to break out of your box and see what the world really has to offer you, then take a fresh look inward. Start digging deep by making a running, pro and con list about your life and career. Record what’s working for you and what is not. Always keep this list with you (I suggest you use a Note app on your phone that can sync across all of your devices) and add new points to it, as they come to you.

Here are some questions to consider before making a career change at 30 or any age:

  • What do you like and dislike about your living situation? What do you want to change?
  • What do you like and dislike about all of your relationships, working and personal? What would you change in each of them? This one will take some time to fully explore.
  • What do you like and dislike about your current career – your role, responsibilities, salary, etc? What do you want to change?
  • What will make you feel challenged so that you reach your full potential? Go big!
  • What dreams are being realized and what can you make happen tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now?

Don’t hold back from recording absolutely everything that comes to mind. Don’t let resistance take over and keep you from being totally honest. Suspend all judgment for this exercise. There are no “rights” or “wrongs” when identifying your true feelings. Your emotions don’t make you a “good” or “bad” person. They’re just a starting place for building the life you’re meant to live. Once you identify how you feel, you can further explore why you feel as you do. Then you can address any inner conflict that is holding you back from changing careers at 30 or really any other stage of life.

Many people find that it’s helpful to enlist the help of a life coach, when doing this deep self-exploration. A good life coach can hold you accountable, plus help you tease out answers that may be difficult for you to see on your own. If you’d like my assistance, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work out a plan that gets you where you want to be.

Getting Through Hard Times and Coming Out Stronger

While getting through hard times can be very painful, there is one very important quality – hope - that will determine if you come out stronger in the end. “To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”—Gail Sheehy

“If just one more thing goes wrong, it’s going to send me over the edge! I’m at my breaking point! I can’t take anymore! I’m too discouraged and overwhelmed as it is.” Have you ever felt like that? If you struggle with maintaining an optimistic attitude, your coping mechanism may be to shut down. You’re not alone. Yet, you are lacking the one key ingredient that will make getting through hard times more rewarding.  

How can getting through hard times be rewarding?

Even though our lives are packed full of demands, we can face all of these, plus the uncertainties that loom on the horizon with optimism and courage, IF we tap into the inextinguishable power of hope.

Yes, there will be pain. However, optimism fuels hope, and hope fuels resiliency, which can see you through seemingly impossible situations. Looking past the challenge and shifting your focus to better times ahead, can change everything. As William J. Brennan, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said:

“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”

When we accept the struggles and challenges of life as part of our education, then we’ll be able to get through the tough times more gracefully. Here are five ways you can mindfully practice hope during hard times…

1. Take care of your health. Our bodies and spirit run on the fuel we give it. Eating healthfully and getting a good night’s sleep can often restore your balance and give you a new and hopeful perspective. Also, be careful about what you’re feeding your mind and spirit. Reject negative talk, whether it’s coming from yourself or others. You deserve better than that!

2. Share your feelings. Recognize the emotional states that are keeping you trapped in despair; they might be pride, fear, or shame. These are common emotional triggers. Hope reassures you that your trusted loved ones will not reject you for being human.

3. Express gratitude. This goes beyond the mental exercise of keeping a gratitude journal to get your mind focused on what you do have. It’s an activity – out of your gratitude list, look for ways to build others up with “thank yous” and compliments. The more positive messages you send out, the more positivity comes back to you.

4. Give meaningfully to others. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a long walk every day in the park, so you can smile at everyone you encounter. The size of your goal doesn’t matter, as long as it feeds your sense of purpose and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

4. Take one step at a time. Hope, like an actual building, is built one brick at a time. Seeing the big picture can often overwhelm, so focus on the one thing you can do right now…and do it!

You’re tougher than you think. People have always survived; and some have even thrived, while getting through hard times. Why not ask those around you what inspires them to keep going? Also read or watch true life stories of courage that inspire you. I’d love to hear about the people who inspire you – please come over to my Facebook page and share what you’ve learned from their stories.

Remember that baby steps lead to transformation. If you’d like guidance and accountability in your quest for a more hopeful state, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). It’s easier when you have help.

Learn How to Let Go of Your Ideals and See the Beauty in Everything

When life gets messy, you need to know how to let go of your ideals so you can hang on to the beauty of each situation or circumstance and enjoy the ride.”Be in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in your life. Be thankful for the storms as well as the smooth sailing. What is the lesson or gift in what you are experiencing right now? Find your joy not in what’s missing in your life but in how you can serve.” ~ Wayne Dyer

What do you do when life gets messy? Your schedule is blown out of the water…people don’t respond as you expected…LIFE happens.

Do you crawl back into bed? Retreat into a movie marathon? Become paralyzed in inactivity and depression?

OR…do you know how to let go and see the beauty in the experience? If you’d like to handle change in this more positive way, then you are going to be blown away with the exercise I’m going to share with you…

Our brains crave order and simplicity; so change throws us off-balance. You want a “perfect” or ideal world. You want everything to be smooth sailing. So when you run into choppy water and the ride starts getting bumpy, it catches you by surprise every time.  

How do you adjust your grip on life so you can hang on and still enjoy the ride? It’s a matter of learning how to let go and re-center on the positive. Counterintuitive isn’t it? Learning how to let go in order to hang on!

No, it’s not simple. But it’s a system for life that you master if you practice long and hard enough. Here’s how you do it…

How to Let Go and See the Beauty in Everything

  1. Notice when you’re getting anxious or frustrated. Are you tired, hungry, cranky, or have unexplained pains as your body is trying to communicate with you?
  2. Recognize that the problem isn’t the external situation. (Don’t play the blame game.) The cause of your anxiety is coming from your internal ideals. For example, you want order, but your high ideal for orderliness (that isn’t being met) is causing frustration and anxiety.
  3. Breathe, re-center and calm yourself. This helps you become mindful in the moment, with no ideals, seeing the situation with new eyes and an open heart.
  4. Let go of the ideal that is causing you pain or discomfort. Visualize it floating out of the room or away on the breeze.
  5. Own the fact that you have the power to create a new ideal for the situation at hand. Instead of looking outward, take some quiet time to look inward.
  6. Start seeing your current experience as perfect. That’s right! No matter how messy or uncomfortable it may seem at first, look for and see the beauty in it.

These steps are easy to say, but not easy to do. Why? Because we fight change. We hate to relinquish control. It takes real effort to see beauty in chaos. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to open up and soften yourself. How do you do that?

  1. Feel the hardness in your heart when someone disappoints you. Feel the frustration in your neck and shoulders when someone interrupts you or makes a mess of things.
  2. Notice your resistance. You either don’t want to let go or you can’t yet see the beauty in the moment.
  3. Consciously and deliberately open your heart and mind. Even if it’s just a little bit. Work at being more accepting of what’s happening. Maintain your attitude of gratitude. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Look for new opportunities that have suddenly opened up for you. Look for ways to express kindness, love and joy.

Change is hard for so many people. Sometimes you just have to get tough with yourself and make yourself do it. Would you like some help in mastering the messiness of life? I’d love to help you learn to let go of your ideals and focus on the beauty.  Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work through the rough patches so you can more fully feel the exhilaration of life.

Keep Moving Forward – Only Look Back to See How Far You’ve Come

If you’re wondering how you got to where you are in life and how to get back on track, here are 7 ways to mindfully keep moving forward toward your dreams. Stuck in a rut? Taken a wrong turn in life? Can’t seem to find your way back to your dreams? Maybe you’re even wondering how you got to where you are in life. Perhaps years ago you started down a path and it’s taken you further away from the life you expected. Now you don’t know how to get back on track or how to keep moving forward.

Even if you feel lost, the good news is that it just takes one baby step at a time to move forward to where you want to be.

Discover seven ways you can keep moving forward towards your dreams:

  1. Learn to love yourself more. Isn’t it true that we can be our own worst critics? It’s a battle of the mind. Just remember, your mind is under your control, not the other way around. So don’t let your mind get the best of you. Give yourself some slack and choose to always think the best of yourself.

 

  1. Realize you are not broken! About 15 years ago, when one of my teachers showed me that cultivating self-love could be the answer to my anxiety and depression, I was shocked. I wondered, what did that have to do with what I was feeling? I really thought I was totally broken! But it was refreshing to realize that a bit of self-love could change the quality of my inner environment.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to start over. Don’t define yourself in one way only. Embrace everything that you are. If the career you chose a decade ago isn’t making you happy, try something new. It’s okay. It’s not wasted time. You’ve learned a lot in your life’s journey that will help you build the type of life you really want.

 

  1. Let go of things you no longer need, even if they once meant a lot to you. It’s easy to settle or compromise. You may not get everything you want, but if you pay close attention, you can make the best of every outcome, and still get a lot of what you want in life. Learn to manage your time, energy and attitude appropriately. Asking yourself, “How much do I really want or need this?” will help you determine if it’s something you can let go or something you need to fight for.

 

  1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more you expand your comfort zone, the more you’ll look forward to growing. Subconsciously you may have been taught that discomfort should be avoided. Yet, you’re made to feel upset, sad and hurt for a reason. These and other feelings are a natural part of living. The key is to face discomfort and learn from it. This is what ultimately molds you into your best self.

 

  1. Do your best and be content with achieving competence. Comparing yourself to others or even a younger version of yourself is not productive. Obsessing over perceived “flaws” will blind you to the beauty of your diversity. Remind yourself that you are good enough.

 

  1. Remember, it’s not all about you. Sometimes we have the tendency to put ourselves at the center of the universe, and see everything from the viewpoint of how it affects you. When self is your sole focus, you may start feeling sorry for yourself. Looking for little ways to help others will get you out of the pity party. And it helps solve feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy too. It’s interesting how serving others benefits the giver more than the one who receives.

 

Look back over the years and reflect on how far you’ve come…the obstacles you’ve overcome, the fears you’ve conquered, the dreams you’ve made come true. Now, think about what’s next on your Keep on Moving Forward wish list.

If you’re ready to form an accountability partnership, I’d love to discuss your options. Why not contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Dreaming doesn’t change your life. Actions do. Are you ready to keep moving forward?

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