Finding Your Sweet Spot

Finding Your Sweet Spot

Striving vs. Straining

We live in a “do more” culture — one that prides ourselves on how busy and full our lives can be.  A culture that endlessly encourages us to take on new goals and pile on task after task. But what happens when our to-do list starts to feel overwhelming…we burnout! Listen, I’m a leadership coach, I’m all about goals and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to tap into our greater potential. But there’s a fine line between striving and straining. 

Think of it this way, when we work out we purposely stress our muscles and cardiovascular system to overtax our bodies in order to build ourselves up. But it is in the recovery where we make the most gains.  When our body repairs and replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process to fuse muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands. These new muscle protein strands enable us to get stronger and leaner improving our performance the next time we workout. The same holds true with our performance in life, there’s nothing wrong with “stressing” or “pushing” ourselves for a period of time just not all the time.

Truth is some stress in our lives is actually good for us. We learn how to be resilient, and get things done, our body primes us with an increase in blood flow and a healthy dose of adrenaline, making us more alert and attentive. However, chronic levels of stress, that is stress without reprieve for long periods of time, works against us, which hinders our performance and our wellbeing.  But as you can see stress isn’t the culprit here, it’s the lack of recovery.  More is not always better,  periods of recovery are necessary.  The key to high performance lies in both these actions where we push ourselves for periods of time to tap into greater potential yet factor in R& R.

Whether it be on a small level like a coffee break or stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, or even better yet a day off and a good night sleep, and of course on a bigger level through vacations, long weekends, and holidays to enjoy.  

I encourage you to find the sweet spot between striving and straining, know your tipping points and embrace pushing yourself out of your comfort zone as long as you are sure to factor in recovery!

Wishing You The Best Of Success

-Holly-

 

Could You Spare 15 Minutes To Improve Your Life?

Could You Spare 15 Minutes To Improve Your Life?

The Value Of Keeping A Journal

Daily journaling — either on paper or a computer screen — has the power to make a real difference in ones life. Writing down your thoughts can be a powerful tool for solving problems, relieving stress and locking in greater success and happiness. Though I know the idea of adding one more thing to your daily routine feels daunting, this is one task everyone owes to themselves to seriously commit to. The benefits are endless, just read on to see why.

Journaling….

  • Accelerates Abilities To Manifest Our Goals-consider building a house without a blueprint. Once words and images hit paper, thoughts or ideas will crystallize. We not only use pen to paper to strategize action steps required to create what we want but it also signals to our brains that this is important becoming forged into our subconscious mind. Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve those goals (NLP Institute of California 2017 study).
  • Enhances Our Emotional Intelligence-emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and manage our emotions, and that of others.Your journal has the potential to be both a “therapist” and a dear friend who listens without judging or interrupting and is open 24 hours a day. By serving as an outlet to process emotions, writing our thoughts and feelings down allows for a release and greater self-awareness. In turn we become more understanding of the range of emotions humans experience, encouraging us to be more empathetic with others.
  • Sparks Creativity and Inspiration-your journal is a place to write down anything  that comes to mind. The crazier the idea, the better. Let your imagination wander to the farthest parts of your mind. The more you practice experimenting with  possibilities and opportunities, the more inspiration you will find.
  • Solve problems more effectively-typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and  affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
  • Boosts Memory and Comprehension-the composition of thoughts and ideas causes the mind to compose or re-compose these ideas while journaling. In other words, when your hand engages in writing, your brain engages in cognitive recall.  Your learning ability is strengthened and your memory improved.
  • Promotes healing-expressive writing has been linked to improved immune function, lower anxiety and stress levels, and better sleep. Dr. James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal explains “when we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.” And in doing so, we free ourselves from the web of confusion that so often keeps us emotionally and psychologically bound to any trauma, drama, disappointment, regret, or long-held belief.
  • Supports Self Confidence-journaling about positive experiences allows your brain to relive it. And reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. Keeping a journal becomes a story upon which you can reflect; it is not only a place to dump our inner thoughts and feelings but a catalog of personal achievements,  positive experiences, triumphs over negative experiences, and a testament to how far you’ve come.
  • Stimulates Self Discipline, Productivity, & Accountability-committing to daily journal writing is an act of discipline. Like with everything else, consistency and repetition breeds success. And good habits formed in one area of our lives have a tendency to have a ripple effect on others. Additionally, as we script our journey, we can find accountability and likely heighten our levels of productivity. Knowing that at the end of the day (or beginning) you will be sitting down to reflect on thoughts, desires, and challenges will assuredly serve as a daily reminder and motivator to get busy living life with greater purpose.  

And the benefits of journal writing don’t stop there. For me, I also found that writing in a journal daily has vastly improved my relationships both within my personal and professional life. By writing  down my thoughts and experiences as well as progress towards desired outcomes I simply just have become that much more present and engaged in my life. Discover for yourself the benefits of journal writing, it doesn’t have to be a big orchestrated event, start today jotting down what went well and what didn’t. From there feelings and emotions will be expressed and goals revealed. Love to hear your discoveries!

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

-Holly-

 

 

A Secret Elixir

A Secret Elixir

Surprising Benefits Of Finding A Hobby

Want a surefire way to improve the quality of your life, relationships, and mood? Get a hobby. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking as if it’s that simple, how could something so frivolous make that much of a difference? The last thing I need is another commitment. Hobbies are for people who lead quiet, relaxed lives, and have extra time. I get it, between the kids, work, staying on top of household responsibilities, the notion of a finding a hobby can sound like a waste of time. But actually, for those people who lead very full and busy lives, it’s all that more important to find a hobby. Think taking up a hobby is an ineffective, senseless, or self-indulgent way to use your time? Read on to discover the amazing benefits a hobby can have on your life.

Why Get A Hobby?

Relieves Stress & Lessens Negative Self-Talk- First and foremost hobbies relieve stress and clear our minds by keeping us engaged in enjoyable and positive tasks. Taking our attention away from the day-to-day challenges and issues we face.

Enhance Social Connections- Hobbies are something that you can frequently enjoy with other people. Whether you join a club, play in a league, or just come across people with similar interests and mindsets. Moreover, when you  take some time to do something enjoyable it lifts our spirits so our current relationships reap the benefits of our improved mood. 

Increase Confidence and Self Esteem- Your hobby is going to challenge you in someway, whether mentally or physically. As you overcome these challenges, your confidence will be boosted. 

Enrich Who We Are– When people ask you what you do in your free time, hobbies prevent you from standing there and scratching your head in puzzlement. Hobbies give us something to talk about, adding layers to our identity. They give us space to view ourselves differently, exposing us to new ideas and different perspectives.

Promotes Productivity- Hobbies prevent burnout allowing us to take time out for ourselves, bringing us renewed energy and excitement. This will carry over to the rest of our activities whether at work or home. And since most hobbies usually require rearranging of our schedules to fit it in the activity, it forces us to manage our time more wisely and productively.

Don’t even know what pastime would make you happy? Best bet is to start by building on your own interests. Think about what you value most, examine your skills and personality, and pay attention to what excites you. Being outdoors, doing something physical or creative with others or alone. What skills would you like to learn, talents you want to develop, or experiences you crave? Brainstorm some ideas and try out a new activity from your list. Lastly, pay attention to how you feel during the experience and give it at least three to four attempts to get over the beginners’ hurdle. You may not find the right fit for you right away, but the upside is along the way you can have a lot of fun trying new things and exploring what’s out there. This summer take some time to check out a hobby or two, with the season’s warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, along with for most, more liberties in our schedules makes for a perfect time to take some time  enjoying an activity that is not attached to work or other commitments. 

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

-Holly-

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Maximize Your Success This Year

There’s no denying that with a new year comes fresh opportunities and a renewed sense of energy to attain the things we want in and for our lives. But simply setting vague, lofty goals won’t be enough. In last month’s newsletter, we were able to get a jump start on thinking through those goals we want to focus on this coming year by doing the suggested self-designed wheel exercise shared in December’s post. Now, this month it’s time to create the structure we need to actually achieve those goals. One of the best ways to manage and track our progress is with the SMART process, a well-known coaching tool used to break down goals into manageable action steps providing the clarity and direction needed for goal setting while simultaneously enhancing accountability and lessening feelings of overwhelm.

As you can see the word SMART is used as an acronym:

S – Specific What specifically do you want? Or what exactly is the first step/action you need to take?

M – Measurable What is the quality or quantity you want?

A – Achievable Is this goal possible or step/action possible?

R – Reasonable Will you do this? How reasonable is it that you will do this?

T – Time By when will you reach this goal (entire goal) or complete the first step (not the entire goal)?

Each letter in the acronym helps guide goal setting in a certain way. So for example, let’s say I want to use the SMART process for a professional goal to obtain more clients. Gaining more clients is a good starting point but is much too vague. How many new clients do I want to gain? How will I gain them? When will I gain them by? How will I measure my success? And most importantly are the action steps realistic and reasonable? These are all questions that need to be answered…

Gain more clients for my business by providing free monthly webinars. Now, this is better, but I still need a way to measure how many clients I am gaining through these free webinars. So I determine a form of measurement. Gain 3 clients every quarter for my business by providing free monthly webinars. This is a good SMART goal. Not only does it outline a specific objective, but it also defines how I will achieve that objective while giving me a timeline and several milestones to track my progress. Additionally, I know I have the materials and technology as well as time to put monthly webinars into place so it is an achievable and reasonable goal.

Here’s another example using the SMART process but this time with a personal goal to lose weight for someone let’s say who is approximately 20lbs overweight.

Lose weight by exercising a minimum of three times a week and join Weight Watchers. Again a great start as now they have clarity and direction with actions steps in place but now it’s important to manage and track progress. By exercising three times a week and following the Weight Watchers plan a minimum of 2lbs a week will be lost. This is not only achievable but reasonable as stated this person has excess body weight and it is assumed she can commit to this plan.

Maximize your chances for success this year, follow the two-step process provided in both last and this month’s post, not only will you determine those goals that will support the outcomes you are looking to see happen in 2019 but the roadmap to getting you there.

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success 

-Holly-

 

 

 

Jumpstart Your New Year

Jumpstart Your New Year

Your 2019 Priorities

Wow, it’s hard to believe another year is almost in the books! Time to do some reflecting and planning. I know everyone is likely crazy busy with holiday prep and festivities. But that’s all the more reason to find some downtime to grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, set yourself up in a  comfortable environment where you will feel relaxed and focused to do this month’s suggested activity. It is a twist on a coaching tool shared in past newsletters and found on my website under Valuable Downloads, called the Wheel of Life. But this time rather then rate your level of satisfaction in each of the provided aspects on the wheel, I want you to now draw your own wheel, divide it up into 6 even pie-like slices and determine those areas YOU want to focus on for the next year (see image attached).

Some examples might be: finances, romantic relationship, renovating/organizing a house, writing a book, health and exercise, career, paying it forward, family, creativity, fun/enjoyment, etc. Then from there write 5 measurable and obtainable goals you can accomplish under each category. So for example, under creativity one might write: take an art class from a local university. Or for paying it forward: volunteer at local animal shelter or maybe donate clothing no longer worn. You get the picture, just be specific and make sure you can see results at the end of the year.

This exercise was recently introduced to me through a colleague. He came across it in a book called Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break. The book goes on to suggest selecting one goal from each category that is most important for you to accomplish and start first with those. I love this activity mostly because it can really help create the change we want in our lives and bring it back to harmony and balance by providing a focus on our priorities (not others) while serving as a great reference tool to keep us accountable. Keep in mind it’s not about attaining everything in our circle but more about honoring what it is we want to see happen in and for our lives in the next coming year and then having that down in black and white. This way we not only have a jumpstart to the new year but a plan to boot with actionable steps in place!

Best of Success & HappyHolidays!

-Holly-