- Mental Wellness
- Personal Development
- Physical Wellness
- Professional Development
- Relationship Building
- Self-improvement & Personal Growth
Our lives are pretty busy right? Schedules are jammed packed with to do list, webex, conference calls, phone calls, texts, emails, business trips and dinners. The weekend rolls around and it doesn’t stop. Work like a beast 4 to 5 days a week, the chill and get re energized the rest of the week. Right! Great intentions, but how often are you experiencing that?
So how can we possible make room for what we really want? More moments of pleasure and enjoyment instead of feeling stressed and overwhelmed? You’re not the only one feeling this way. If most of your days you feel like you’re caught in a turbulent storm, it’s time you discover how to make room for what’s important to you! You can hit the pause button to catch a break, so you can enjoy your achievements and relationships minus the guilt and pressure, and not just on vacation but during every day of your life?
Possible? Very much so! Let me share with you three simple yet highly effective ways you can do that. The best part is, you can begin practicing it immediately and start experiencing noticeable results.
Effective way 1. PAUSE – There’s so many moving parts in our personal and business world. Sometimes we are misunderstood, come across as brutes and bitches, or appear dis-engaged. In our tired, hazed and overwhelmed state we are off point and can make poor decisions and unhealthy choices. In those moments, we practice PAUSE. Say it to yourself! Say it out loud! The next time you find yourself getting heated, irritated say PAUSE! It’s a powerful word that can help your busy world slow down – literally, and give you room to get clear, step back, re-evaluate and re-connect in a controlled present state.
Effective way 2. PRIORITIZE – What must be done today? What can you clear from your calendar or delegate or politely say no to? Grab a pen and paper and write it down. This simple exercise will produce amazing clarity and relief – trust me on this.
Effective way 3. EASE – Begin your day with EASE, it’s like a slow release vitamin that will keep you centered throughout your day. Rise 20 – 30 minutes earlier to either get in an intense workout, (yes you can achieve more with an intense 15 min workout, than a 45 min moderate one), or meditate or do both. 20 min workout, 10 min meditating. Take a shower, and think about what you’re thankful for. Have a balanced breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrate, and get ready for a successful day! You will be more in control and clear, compared to starting your day scrambling and rushed.
If you’d like a copy of the worksheet to help you make room for what you want then send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
And, as always – to a better quality of life!
but never got gold until…
A recent comment from a client prompted me to write this piece. She said “I’m successful in every area of my life except this”…feelings of frustration, discouragement and deflation are words commonly used to describe the struggle with either weight loss or management.
A struggle I relate to…win some, lose some. Actually, my greatest weight loss achievement happened in my late thirties…more on that later.
My desire to lose weight was not to have a size 24-inch waist or six pack abs… maybe four:) I wanted the least amount of fat to grab around my waist, be comfortable in my clothes, and feel good about myself. That was my desire and over time became my reality.
In my quest to be successful I tried…slim fast shakes, “proven” diet formulas, weight loss pills, cleanse, gym memberships, to being over and under whelmed, I discovered what didn’t work and more so what actually worked…for me.
Here are a few things I had to come to terms with
• It’s not easy – acceptance (not resolve)
• Failing/learning taught me what doesn’t work for ME – awareness (this comprised of words like diet…thoughts like…what’s wrong with me and counterproductive actions like…I had an intense workout today, so I deserve two scoops of ice cream.)
• My depth of readiness – attitude/mindset (good, bad, ugly)
• What’s required of me – action (what does it look like)
To bring my desire to life, I needed to set it free from the constraints of my mind. Like a bird locked in a cage, I had to open the cage and set it free. Then, and only then my chance to literally bring that desire to reality went up by100%. I learned desire was never enough to get me gold until I did the work. It took multiple times of failing/learning yes, however I was eventually rewarded for it.
There’s a number of reasons why we get stuck in our heads: Mine was my attitude and how my mindset was locked and fixated on.
• I tried every diet and nothing works – Frustrated & fed-up
• I don’t know what else to do – Overwhelmed & tired
• I can’t do this anymore – Discouraged & Giving up
It’s OK to feel and express how you feel, but its NOT OK for you to give up. The excuses, or reasons may be valid to you, but sitting in them isn’t helping you achieve your reality.
Sitting in silence hurts, you don’t have to continue feeling deflated and defeated…unless you want to. So how about it? Remember, Michael Phelps didn’t become world class overnight. If you find yourself in the same place like I was, I encourage you to answer the questions here. They might help provide clarity and get you moving again.
• Acceptance – what have you accepted? “this is your lot in life” or “the last attempt didn’t work because of XYZ”. Avoid using excuses, remember truth is your ticket to freedom”
• Awareness – what’s one thing you’re very clear on now?
• Attitude – What’s your state of mind about this area in your life? Is it too negative or can be more positive?
• Action – Based on what you’ve discovered to this point, what do you think is your next step of action? (notice I said next, not next 2 or 3 steps)
In my next post I’ll share what I did to help me lose over 50lbs, improved my health, increased my energy, and boosted my confidence.
To quote the lyrics in PINK song…TRY
You gotta get up and try, try, try…
Have a question or comment? Leave it below or send me an email.
I habitually drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, then coffee. Why? Because when I consume coffee on an empty stomach, I get a nasty heartburn. However, with a glass of water I’m heartburn free. It works for me so that’s a habit I practice on a daily basis.
Which brings me to the past three posts on “It’s a Yes”. In order for me to say yes to myself, to what I think is best for me, I have to say no to something or someone. That’s how it works.
I have a great deal of respect for people who say “can I have x amount of time to think about this and get back to you” and responds with a firm yes or no. I find it’s a great way to established and build trust.
Hearing or saying no isn’t final – it just means no at this moment. Not forever. And, that’s how you have to approach saying no in order to say yes to yourself. In order for you to show up, be and do your best you will HAVE to say yes to you sometimes.
I said yes to running a half marathon this November, and as a result I had to say yes to training and no to drinking less and eating less desserts. That yes, is beneficial beyond a check mark off my bucket list – mentally I’m finding it a great way to clear my head, think and challenge myself. Physically, I’m getting stronger, running longer and losing body fat.
Saying yes to yourself is a habit worth cultivating. You recharge, relax, reenergize, refocus and remind yourself of your values, importance and why. This is especially important IF you frequently say no and deny yourself more often than you should.
I really hope you caught how this practice can help improve your life. With that said, as promise here’s an opportunity if you choose to say yes:) you can walk away with a hard copy of Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes”.
Here’s how it works I’d like to hear your story – Send me an email to email@example.com answering the following two questions.
- What area in your life has been denied yes?
- What did you get out of reading the past three articles on this topic?
The first 50 responses will be entered in a draw, and two of you will receive a hard copy of the book.
To deny yourself anything that will improve your life, is to deny yourself permission to be yourself.
– Diane Dutchin
If you’ve read this far it tells me you’re ready for a breakthrough week. Pick one area in your life, and say yes to yourself. What does it look like? No is silenced, excuses shut down, the volume on self-defeating thoughts turned down. And yes is embraced and served. It doesn’t have to be loud or big, but meaningful to you.
Again, I’d really love to hear your story so either leave a comment below or send me an email.
Part III of “It’s a Yes”
If you’ve been following the past two post and answering the questions, I hope you’ve been pro-active and exploring how saying YES is impacting your life. Were there any surprises or did it confirm what you’ve known all along? We need to become more aware of how our YES is impacting our day to day lives.
One of the big aha moments for me in this YES discovery journey was this – my yes to others had a higher rate of completion, than my yes to myself. A pattern I’m actively implementing change to better my life. Let me share a few examples.
Working for another person – I’m asked to handle a project outside of my assigned duties, and I say Yes. My action is to get it done within the deadline. Despite whatever else is going on I get it done.
Working for myself – I set a goal and deadline for a project and say yes. Life interruptions happen, I don’t compete the project within the deadline.
Personal life – I’ve found writing out a “to do” list works well for me. So, on Thursday nights I prepare my weekend list. Yes, to read, workout, meditate, write, cook, clean, time with spouse, running errands, walking dog, meeting friends, etc.
When I neglect areas of self-care like working out, meditating, resting etc. and everything else gets attention, by Sunday night I’m pleased with the getting “things” done part, but unhappy because I neglected me from the list.
I know you can relate. We don’t set out to intentionally deny and say no to our personal development and what matters, but sometimes it happens. So how can you reach another healthy level of yes in your life that will help you flourish and not fade?
Flourish to “grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment”
- Decide right now – what will it take for you to flourish? What is one benefit you can begin to gain from developing a particular area of your life? (Don’t rush this question, write down your answer. It will help you create a plan to achieve the result/s you desire)
Fade to “lose strength or freshness, to become weaker, to disappear gradually, to become less bright, to lose color”
- Decide right now – what benefit are you deriving from being in the place where you’re losing strength, freshness, and brightness?
- Is what and whom you’re saying yes to causing you to flourish or fade?
- Are you happy?
Let’s be clear, we’re not going to get it right 100% of the time. Sometimes yes has to be denied or delayed. It’s not about saying yes to yourself on a level of selfishness. No, this is to invite and encourage you to turn your internal attention to this area of your life. Join me on this journey, and together, let’s begin saying yes to who and what matters.
Keep an eye out for the opportunity to grab a hard copy of Shonda Rhimes book Year of yes.
Do you agree that what and whom you say yes to can cause you to flourish or fade? Share why or (why not) in the comments below. I appreciate your support very much.
To BEing your better best self
Part II of “It’s a Yes” post.
Can there be any truth to this statement – Saying yes can be causing a disruption to the flow in your life? As I read through “Year of yes” I started to think there might be something here worth taking a closer look at, and my two obvious source of disruptions were.
- Cell phone – It rings, a text or email comes in and I check it
- Social Media – periodic check throughout the day for updates which often leads to reading an article, researching a story, etc.
Though these two simple acts are considered part of our daily life, it can become not only a distraction but a disruption to the flow of saying yes to what really matters. Adding up the amount of time actually spent in those activities was so appalling, because the total amount of hours combined on my cell and social media was less than what I was investing in my relationship with my spouse per day, and that was enough to do something about it.
And this is what I’m doing
- Check specific times during the week, twice on Saturday, off on Sunday…except to post my article.
You see as much as I enjoy being up to speed, in the loop and engaged, what really matters to me has to take first place, and when that’s off I have to make adjustments. Yes, to everything and everyone is signing up for a life that can be constantly interrupted and fragmented.
Let’s get to another excerpt from Shonda Rhimes book “Year of Yes –
Chapter 4 – Yes to the Sun
“I thought saying YES would feel good. I thought it would feel freeing. Like Julie Andrews spinning around on that big mountaintop at the beginning of the Sound of Music. Like how you feel when you just finished baking double-fudge brownies but you have yet to shove one in your mouth. This YES does not feel like a post-baked pre-eaten brownie.
I feel forced into this, I feel like I don’t have a choice. My obligations to my network, plus my obligations to my stupid Year of yes idea has trapped me. This is not what YES is supposed to feel like. YES should feel like the sun.
I said yes to something that terrified me. (Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel show). And then I did it and I didn’t die. There’s a crack in the pantry door. A sliver of light coming in. I can feel a bit of warm sun on my face. YES does feel like the sun.”
Which leads me to a few questions for this post:
- What is it that really matters to you?
- Is your yes lining up as you’d like?
- Is your work life better or worse from saying yes?
- Is your home life better or worse from saying yes?
You see, sometimes saying yes will be terrifying but if it matters to you, take a deep breath and step into it. And you’ll experience a sense the courage to make your life…well, step into it and find out.
Remember to add the set of questions above to last week’s post http://want-know-can-count-can-get-done and make your YES this week an empowering one.
Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love
Like most, I aspire daily to grow and become a better human being, and nurture my relationship with my spouse, family, friends, and service to my clients and community. To be better I have to keep investing in my personal growth, and sometimes it’s not easy, sometimes I fail miserably and then there are times I excel and soar. Throughout every highs and lows, ups and downs, stormy and rainbow days I learn and grow, and for me, that’s the key to supporting my growth.
I’ve come to really appreciate the beauty of SELF AWARENESS, it truly is the light bulb moment that can make a difference in one’s life.
That awareness revealed two things that stifles my growth and affects my personal and professional relationships. I’m talking about self-depreciation and self-neglect that floats around in our subconscious that fuels and influences how we behave in our personal and professional relationships.
Self-Depreciation – the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used in humor and tension release
Self-Neglect – any failure of an adult to take care of himself or herself that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial damage to or loss of assets
“When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you”
Let’s take a look at how self depreciation and neglect can show up in our lives and stifle growth in our relationships.
- We take the back seat in bringing our thoughts and ideas to the table, because of our gender or not in a leadership position
- We don’t think our opinion matter
- When we’re complimented about our abilities and performance we brush it aside
- We feel intimidated because we devalue ourselves
- We internalize and take things personally
- We think the worst without any proven facts
- We stifle our feeling and fail to express them
- We don’t ask for what we need
As a result, our level of trust is in jeopardy, communicating with our partner/spouse is a struggle, and we withdraw from being ourselves. We’re overlooked for possible promotion and we either resign ourselves to staying in a career just for security, or regress in our ability to grow into the career we want.
We foster a “I don’t care” attitude, go through the motions day in, day out and sit unfulfilled and stuck.
How can we turn things around?
One sure way to start that is by paying attention to your internal self dialogue and practice the exchange of put downs to pull ups.
- Accept yourself, likes, dislikes, fabulousness and flaws. You can improve the areas you don’t like about yourself, and that starts with self-acceptance not self-depreciation.
- Apply self-care, you are the only person who will ever do the best job at personal care, and it’s the best remedy for self-neglect. Choose one area of your life that’s been neglected and begin to diligently introduce healthier care.
“the only way to increase self-acceptance is to decrease self-depreciation”
You can take a self-acceptance test here to help better assess where you’re at
I encourage you to begin today to embrace the gift of self acceptance and care, and experience the freeing and transforming changes you need in your personal and professional life.
On Sundays prior to the start of the work week I’m in the habit of seeking a word that I can take with me through the week, apply, learn from and build.
Last week that word was “FOCUS”…I waited for the rest, but nothing else came. OK, what is the message here for me? with little to go on I started with the obvious – my breathing. During this exercise I discovered when I focus on my breathing, mindfulness and being consciously present was the benefit which helped me manage unexpected stressful situations that pops up.
Another day my focus was on my blessings – my home life, my spouse, our dog, where our home is located, nature, friends, mom, sister, clean running water, freedom, food, health, and clients I serve.
One day my focus turned towards giving back – of my time to stop and have conversations with the homeless. I discovered they’re as hungry for human interaction as they’re looking for a hand up. I was equally surprised to find after my conversation, there was no request for any monetary gift.
Another day I focus on expansion – revisiting my personal growth, areas I’ve been neglecting and what I need to change to see better results. I checked in on my internal thermostat, my attitude, mindset, values and my external alignment to how I’m showing up in my relationships and life.
Then as I settled into bed Thursday night I got this…FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS! Aha! the rest of the sentence finally came. After, after I purposely set about to go with that was presented to me and along the way I learned, I grew and was reminded that by focusing on what matters not only brings me the greatest sense of fulfillment and joy, I find there’s more energy available to expand and step into being a better person and doing more of what I want.
You see, what we focus on affects our mood, attitude and behaviour.
Focus on what feeds your soul
Focus on what lights the fire in your belly to reach your goals
Focus on the good in others
Focus on your accomplishments and what you value
Focus on your growth
Focus on your blessings
Question: What are you focusing on and are you happy with the outcome? Are you focusing on what matters to you, or are you more concerned about focusing your life to please other people?
Take away: Check in with yourself (not social media) to see where your focus lies, and it just might be the key to understanding why certain areas of you life may be out of alignment. Maybe it needs a slight shift, could be an overhaul, a quick fix or a massive renovation. However that may look see it as a gift to move you into a healthier mind space. I encourage you to do the work when you discover the need, and you’ll be better for it.
Focus on what matters to YOU and therein you will discover your success, experience fulfillment and tap into joy. Now that’s a much better way to live your life isn’t it?
To BEing your better self