“If you pick the right small behavior and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.” ~ BJ Fogg
The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition that they have the power to shape their reality through the way they think, believe or expect. One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is by practicing everyday rituals. When I read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I loved his powerful observation about habits or rituals: “And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.”
I truly believe it is our responsibility to change something in our lives that isn’t working for us or that isn’t challenging us to reach our full potential. Oftentimes, we get stuck because we don’t know where to start. So, I’m going to share some of my everyday rituals to help you explore possibilities for enriching your own life. My everyday rituals include:
Getting restorative sleep. Early to bed, early to rise is the motto I live by.
Working out. I move my body first thing each day.
Eating breakfast and dinner with my honey, because I want us to continue feeling connected and close.
Guarding my boundaries. For example, I hold to my ‘No work before 10’ policy fairly well.
Eating clean. For me that means, eating whole foods and not drinking alcohol. A couple of years ago, I started noticing that just the little bit of alcohol (my hubby makes some tasty homebrew!) would leave me feeling sluggish and fuzzy for a few days afterwards. I started to pay attention to that and experimented with no alcohol for a few weeks and then reintroduced it. It became clear that my body was telling me that consuming alcohol was not in alignment with how I wanted to feel and operate in the world. Do your own experiment. Notice what is no longer needed in your life and create new ways to support yourself throughout the day.
Fostering personal growth. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, take online classes on a regular basis, use Tea Time and self-editing to be current with my emotional and mental state. I see my coach regularly to always have better perspective on situations and make better decisions. I know that I’m stronger when I support myself in a consistent and deliberate way.
Fully being present when I take time off. Whether it’s a retreat, a vacation with my family (I look forward to my yearly trips to visit my mom, brother and niece – they are nourishing and exciting!) I take time to unplug and get away so that I can return feeling refreshed and recharged.
Making changes. I need to change something in my life on a yearly basis. It might be changing the furniture around or updating my website, experiment with no meat for a month or taking a new route to work. I need to try Neways often (my business name is Neways after all!)
Expressing Gratitude. I like sending handwritten notes to people I love. I like surprising people with a thoughtful gift or just saying “you are important to me”. It’s a way I also acknowledge how blessed I am.
Has my list of everyday rituals given you some ideas of what new rituals you’d like to implement in your own life? Why not make this a family topic and come up with some rituals that help you reconnect with yourselves and each other? And I’d love it if we could stay connected too! Please sign up for my newsletter to stay current with the changes I’m making — in my own life and in those of my clients — including my Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP training coming up September 26 to 29, 2019.
“A daily ritual is a way of saying, I’m voting for myself. I’m taking care of myself.” ~ Mariel Hemingway
When you feel overwhelmed, because your life is out of control, how do you regain your balance, centeredness, and harmony? Do you have a particular ritual you rely on? Of all the things that empower us, the one that I think is most sustainable is harnessing the power of rituals.
The power of rituals that I’m referring to are the daily actions, habits, routines or patterns that keep you grounded and centered throughout your day. No doubt, you’ve experienced how one event can send you spiraling down until your whole day has been ruined. On the other hand, I hope you’ve also experienced how starting each day with a quiet, mindful practice can give you focus and strength that you can continually draw on throughout any crisis during the day.
Just as we harness a powerful horse to take us in the direction we want it to go, we can engage the power of rituals intentionally with a definite destination in mind. Whether it’s feeling better physically, connecting more fully with loved ones, achieving satisfaction from your work…
Tapping into the power of rituals involves creating an intention, then making repetitive, beneficial choices and actions until they become an ingrained habit. It becomes part of who you are. You wouldn’t consider going a day without engaging in it. Repetition makes your new ritual easier and, once it’s established, it takes much less effort on your part.
We naturally develop rituals around daily activities. Think for a moment how you get ready for work, travel to the office, and how you proceed through your work load. What rituals have you already formed?
I love what Stephen Covey said — “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”
Therefore, harnessing the power of rituals helps you:
- reconnect with what’s important to your inner self.
- become the creator of your reality.
- make order out of life’s chaos.
- enter the zone more easily.
- perform at a predictably high level, without over-thinking.
There are many ways of checking in and reconnecting with yourself. Here are just a few examples of how you can use the power of rituals in your own life:
- Sit outside with a cup of coffee as the sun arises to set intentions for the day.
- Read your collection of inspirational, motivational messages, when stressed, to regain your composure.
- Stop, stretch, breathe to reconnect with what your body is telling you.
- Light a candle or smell essential oils to calm, focus and prepare yourself for a challenge.
- Go to your sacred place, to reflect and meditate on what’s truly important to you.
- Before a challenging event, check in with a trusted friend or coach.
- At the end of each day, grab a drink, go to the back patio, and talk with and listen to your significant other.
The most helpful rituals engage all of your senses, as this anchors the experience and allows you to revisit it in your mind when you need to be centered during the day. Simple and intentional rituals are the best. They set you up for the best possibility of success.
A ritual is usually comprised of a certain series of actions you do over and over again. You can harness the power of rituals by breaking down the individual steps and tweaking each one individually.
Would you like to learn more about the power of rituals in your life? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you so it can relieve your feelings of being overwhelmed by your workload or personal responsibilities.
“I’ve found that what most people call luck is often little more than raw talent combined with the ability to make the most of opportunities.” ~ Timothy Zahn
“Some people just have all the luck!” Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps someone has even said that about you. Or maybe you’re still waiting for your “lucky break”? For many people, it’s easiest to drift through life, taking whatever comes. Waiting for your lucky break makes it easier to shift the blame to others for any failures that happen. After all, some people are just cursed with bad luck, right? Not at all! If you look at their life choices and their attitudes that prompted those choices, you’ll see why they’ve been having bad luck. You make your own luck by intentionally developing the empowering skills I’m going to share with you today.
The foremost requirement is taking responsibility for your actions. This is the springboard from which your luck-attracting mood, attitude and outlook will grow. Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychology chair at England’s University of Hertfordshire, conducted scientific research with a group of 400 exceptionally “lucky” and “unlucky” people from all walks of life. He discovered that “lucky” people possess four basic psychological traits:
- They know how to maximize opportunities.
- They listen to their intuition.
- They expect good fortune.
- They see the bright side of “bad luck”.
His conclusion makes perfect sense to me. It’s what I’ve observed in my own life, as well as, in the lives of my clients. Let’s examine how you can enhance each of these qualities in your own life…
1. Make your own luck by maximizing your opportunities.
Prepare now, so you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. What do I mean? If your life is not in shape to support you as you step into something greater, you’ll tend to shrink back in fear.
Also when you build a strong network of positive influencers and supporters, you increase the likelihood that you’ll have greater opportunities opened to you. As you remain open to new experiences and enhance your curiosity you’ll see opportunities where others do not. This open outlook is a more positive and relaxed approach to life. You’ll see a difference in your choice of words, thoughts and body language, which, in turn, will attract people who can bring you your “lucky break”.
2. Make your own luck by listening to your intuition.
It takes quiet times and a practice of mindfulness to cultivate your intuitive powers. You have to be still to listen to what all your Parts are telling you. Once you do acquire a stronger intuition, it’s important that you don’t sabotage yourself by dismissing what it’s telling you.
3.Make your own luck by actively looking for the good.
What you look for is what you will see. Your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. Therefore, why not always expect and look for the good, since that’s what you want to attract into your life. It heightens your expectations and broadens your focus and you’ll tend to act in a way that helps you achieve what you want. You won’t give up so easily either!
4. Make your own luck by cultivating resilience and transforming each negative into a positive.
Rather than being sucked into a vortex of bad luck, proactively turn your luck by examining each circumstance for how and why it makes you feel a certain way. Armed with this knowledge, consider how the situation was made worse by your actions or inaction and how you could have made it better. This in-depth contemplation will help you learn from each experience. It will keep you from passing a non-helpful judgment upon yourself. In this way, you shift your mood and prepare yourself to handle a similar future occurrence more effectively.
You don’t have to be manipulative to make your own luck. However, you can influence others to send opportunities your way by putting your A-game in place. Identify the goal you want to achieve and start living it! Dress like, talk like, think like, and act like it’s your reality already. Attract the right people by being of service to them. Then start specifically asking for what you want. The right people will notice you and send you “your lucky break”! No, it doesn’t happen by chance; luck happens by design.
Are you ready to make your own luck and watch extraordinary things happen in your life? I’d love to partner with you through this process. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on some of the training opportunities I offer…including, Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP — September 26 to 29, 2019.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ~ Lou Holtz
The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with you, except for a little high blood pressure and fatigue. But you know there’s something seriously off. You’re not yourself. You drag yourself out of bed. As you walk around the house, you mutter “I’m just so tired,” but you can’t figure out why. Could it be you’re suffering from burnout?
Are you uncharacteristically short-tempered? Has your positive attitude been replaced with critical comments? Do you exercise less? Drink more? Have you lost touch with friends? What should take minutes now takes hours. Sounds more and more like burnout!
No, it’s not all in your head. Less than a week ago, the World Health Organization posted their 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, listing burnout as an occupational phenomenon. They state that:
“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.”
Burnout syndrome contributes to heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and premature aging. This is not something you want to ignore and hope goes away!
Some professions, (e.g. medical, legal, teaching, social work, entrepreneurship), are more prone to causing burnout, because they demand all you have to give and then more! You could be fulfilling responsibilities that are clearly out of the bounds of your job description, without being compensated for them. You may be working in an unsupportive or toxic environment. Perhaps you’re asked to compromise personal values and beliefs. On top of that, you may have unrealistic expectations of yourself.
Did you notice WHO said burnout results from “stress that has not been successfully managed”? That should give you hope, because you can learn to manage stress and start recovering from burnout, with a few adjustments to your life. Right now, you may feel like you can’t do one more thing! But, please, take steps to get your life back in balance.
How do you start the process of recovering from burnout? It all begins with a practice of mindfulness to check in with yourself throughout the day. Here are some other suggestions:
- Learn stress management skills. Yoga, deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation techniques, reconnecting with nature, and utilizing the power of gratitude are all helpful.
- Tune into body sensations. Focus on your body’s response to movement. For example, stretching releases tightness and tension.
- Talk to someone. Find a good listener who isn’t going to try to “fix” you or judge you.
- Rekindle friendships. Phone someone and schedule a lunch date, or better yet, go for a walk with your friend and get some exercise, too.
- Limit contact with negative people. Your may have to work with them, but you don’t have to eat lunch or hang out after work with them.
- Learn to speak Positivity.
- Reframe the way you view work. Focus on how you help others.
- Set boundaries that support your values. Learn to say “no!” and rediscover your happy place.
- Develop curiosity about emotional distress. Think of it as a learning tool.
- Take time off and get away. Ovid wisely said ~ “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
- Stop the tech addiction. The world isn’t going to end because you completely disconnect from your devices at the end of each day!
- Feed your creative side and find a hobby.
- Get restorative sleep.
- Make exercise a priority. Aim to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes/day. Mix it up with activities you like.
- Eat healthfully. Just cut out one harmful item and add one healthful item at a time. It makes a difference.
- Avoid narcotics, nicotine and alcohol. Stimulants and depressants alter your brain chemistry. The temporary euphoria isn’t worth the negative effects.
- Find a better job. It took courage, but I have never regretted shifting my practice to coaching women!
- Work smarter. Hone your time management and organizational skills.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie reminds us, “Say NO to the demands of the world. Say YES to the longings of your own heart.” Are you ready to make that shift? Does recovering from burnout feel too overwhelming — you don’t know where to start? I’d love to help you create a plan that gets you to where you want to be. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“Integrity is when your good intentions meet your actions — on a consistent basis.” ~ Amy Chan
Have you caught yourself saying, “I intended to __, but I just didn’t get around to it”? We’ve all done it. In the 60’s and 70’s there was even a wooden Round Tuit coin created to help us end procrastination. It didn’t work so well. I find that setting mindful intentions work much better. But that’s not the whole story.
To get to the bottom of the problem, it’s important to identify what stops our intentions from becoming reality. We all have the same amount of time, so we can’t really use “not having enough time” as an excuse. If you’re like most people, there are 5 basic things that get in our way:
- You lack clarity on what your intended results were meant to be.
- You had insufficient planning or no planning at all.
- You lacked knowledge or skills.
- You became sidetracked or distracted, with too much information.
- You gave up because an obstacle arose and you didn’t seek an alternative method for achieving your intention.
Do any of those reasons describe what you go through? I’ve discovered that my practice of mindfulness reinforces my ability to set intentions and follow through with the action required to create a lasting transformation in my life. But this skill didn’t come to me overnight. I’ve been practicing for a number of years. Now, however, each time I set mindful intentions, it’s a lot easier to make them become reality.
How can you set mindful intentions that overcome the five previously mentioned obstacles?
Don’t kid yourself that setting mindful intentions will magically create lasting change. That is only half of the process. Without follow up actions, your mindful intentions will not serve you. As a quote from E.F. Schumacher reminds us,
“Our intentions tend to be much more real to us than our actions, and this can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding with other people, to whom our actions tend to be much more real than our intentions.”
Let’s take a trick that great writers use…in any good story, writers answer the questions: Why, Who, What, Where, When, and How? (Yes, I rearranged the order of questions they normally ask. When you set mindful intentions, Your Why should always come first.) We can apply those same questions to our Mindful Intentions + Sustainable Actions Recipe for Success. Here’s how:
Find Your Why. Why are you here? What one thing energizes you, challenges you, and helps you live up to your full potential? When you clarify this, you blow the door to possibilities wide open!
Find Your Who. There are some things you’re skilled to do; other things you can delegate to more experienced persons. Don’t be afraid to share your vision with others. The synergy you create together will be phenomenal!
Find Your What. Take baby steps to get you from point A to point Z. Perhaps it’s something you’re working on internally. Maybe it’s a skill you need to learn. Choose three important goals to work on and tell an accountability partner that you’re going to have them done by a certain day. By the end of a year, you’ll be amazed at how much you accomplish!
Find Your Where. Start from where you are right now. Don’t compare yourself to where anyone else is, because we are all at different stages of growth on our journey through life. You are enough!
Find Your When. Waiting for a better time or for everything to fall into place is a mistake. Your time is NOW, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article! Keep asking yourself, “What one thing can I do right now that will inch me closer to my desired results?
Find Your How. Get very specific with outlining your tactics — what step to be accomplished by what date. Track your progress in even small things, because it’s so easy to forget what you have accomplished. Take inventory of all of your resources — monetary, emotional, physical, and spiritual — and spend them wisely on things that really matter. You can do this!
Now I’m going to throw in an extra point that ties together the preceding ones.
Find Your Zone of Genius. When the above items are aligned, the struggle will end. Instead you’ll greet each day with excitement and anticipation. Each day will be a celebration of who you are. You’ll fall in love with life all over again. That is the reward for matching mindful intentions with sustainable actions. It’s magic!
If you’re still searching for your zone of genius, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to help you achieve the life you deserve to live.