5 Habits To Quit To Minimize Stress

Let’s face it, sometimes these habits just creep up on us. They are often little, even subconscious things we do that cause stress. 

Here are 5 common, everyday habits that could be causing you unnecessary stress.

With a few resolutions, this will help you minimize stress and live well!

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Procrastination 

The problem: The suspense or underlying anxiety and head space you create for yourself unbeknownst to you of putting something off steals your free time before you start to work because you are thinking and even dreading getting started in the first place.

The resolution: Don’t let those thoughts become a pattern. When dread and negative attitude towards something you don’t want to do so you’d rather put off come into your head, switch it with gratitude. Be thankful for the opportunity, for why this will benefit you or someone around you now, after you do it, or in the future. Instead of viewing it as a monumental mountain of a task, try to break it up into section or beginning, middle, end. Ensure the first step is so small it no longer seems daunting. If you have been putting off paying your debt, maybe the first step would be logging in and looking at your balance to split up evenly betweens months. If you begin your day conquering a big task, you will be surprised how much more productive the rest of the day will be. It will fuel your energy and motivation to getter done!

 

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Over-Scheduling

The problem: This is a common problem for type A’ers. You leave yourself zero minutes for error in your jam-packed day and most likely…something just doesn’t go right and you are most likely…late to s o m e t h i n g…not to mention frazzled!

The resolution:  Leave room in your schedule. I have made a habit to leave room in 30 minute increments, even if my appointment in 5 minutes away. If it takes an hour to get somewhere I schedule an hour and a half. I leave time to the screwed up google map, the uncontrollable situations, and just for a non stressful appointment. It keeps my head clear, my thoughts focused, time for the restroom, for a breath and to not rush. Rushing is the made ingredient for stress. Five extra minutes can go a long way to help you not feel like you are running to catch the day. You want to be running the day, not running to catch up with it.

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Over Thinking

The problem: Whether the problem is big or small, we definitely want to make the “right” choice, yes? Anyone else out there an “over researcher”? Sometimes research and due diligence helps us to choose wisely and i highly recommend doing your homework, but regardless of the decision, it does us no good to spin our wheels for hours and hours obsessing over something and it can definitely cause unnecessary stress and sometimes, if you aren’t in the right headspace, fear.

The resolution: Set a time limit and set amount of time to do your homework on each decision. Research, pray, ask advice to wise people in your life and then cut yourself off. You can analyze past decisions for growth and learning purposes but otherwise, don’t look back. No should’ve, would’ve, could haves. They can’t change what happened and wastes your energy and time and steals your joy and faith. Setting a time, praying about it and going with the decision that brings the most peace no matter what people think or say will make decision making a lot less stressful. IMG_8558

Second Guessing Yourself

The problem: What you know can change and develop as your learn more about a circumstance and get more comfortable with what you are doing.

The resolution: Know that you are making the right decision for you in that moment with the information you have. That is all we can do. Second-guessing won’t change what is and it will drive you crazy and make you feel insecure about other issues if you let yourself go down that path. You did the best you can and if you get more info, you can always confidently adapt or change as it comes in the future. IMG_8560 Trying To Be Perfect

The problem: Aiming to grow into all your potential and being better daily is one thing, but perfectionism is a dangerous road to go on for your emotional, mental and physical well being. You are already perfect by just being created. You are growing into who you are and you are developing skills, character, working on things and such, but none of those things will make you perfect. Unique is perfect and everyone has a different idea of what perfection is…that means…perfection actually doesn’t exist and is completely relative and you can’t live in that world. You will never please everyone and to give you some honest, raw advice…don’t try to. You will a miserable existence and miss out on your life!

The resolution: Enjoy the things you do well and take pleasure in learning. Practice forgiveness and give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Loosen up. Enjoy being content with where you are in life, because one thing about life that is consistent…it is always changing! There will be a day you look back and it won’t matter, or you will have grown past where you are now.  Be gracious to yourself, be humble, be teachable, don’t take it all too seriously! We are here for a brief moment! Success isn’t being the best at something or the richest…it is being truly happy and content in who you are, finding love, living simply, giving, helping other’s and living your life as freely and with as much love and grace as possible. That will satisfy you, not your “idea” of perfection. IMG_8571

Live Well!

J

What I Wore: 

Top: Nordstrom

Necklace/Bracelet/Shorts: Forever 21

Sunnies: Ray Ban’s

Shoes: Forever 21

Purse: Vintage Gucci (ebay)

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3 Steps To Help Achieve Your Personal Goals

IMG_8537 (1)The number one thing in success is to create a game plan to achieve your goals–including a mission statement, a step-by-step strategy, and a timeline. You hold meetings whether with yourself or those you want involved on your team, block out time to complete tasks/plan/create, and invest (time, resources…time). And all of this planning comes together to make your goals attainable.

But when you think about your personal goals, I’m sure the path to achieving them looks a lot messier. It’s enticing to just go with the flow rather than strategically plan an approach–especially when emotions run high–but devising a personal growth plan can be valuable if you truly want to reach your desired goals.

The simple act of drawing up a plan can not only help you visualize your goals and the necessary steps to achieve them, but it can also remedy a lot of the inertia and uncertainty that held you back in the first place.

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These action steps can be useful when creating an effective plan for your personal growth:

  1. Create a personal mission statement. Making a plan to achieve your goals is impossible if you don’t have any. Spend some time brainstorming and throwing around different ideas. Then, condense your ideas into one specific mission statement. Just like a professional mission statement, it should leave no room for misinterpretation and clearly answer the question: “What do you intend to achieve–and what are you committed to doing (and being) to get there?” For example: For someone who wants to start their own cooking courses and books a mission statement could look like this:  “I am passionate to help people create healthy, easy meals for their family and want to provide them with the tools and resources necessary to do so.” You then build your goals around this statement. You can always grow, change and add on to your mission statement, but it gives you a very clear, simple foundation to start your goals and remind you of your purpose. Your why is important! It is what will hold you through!2015-09-24_1443119273
  1. Choose your gurus. However flawless your personal plan is, if you want to max out your potential, you’re going to need the guidance of mentors, advisors, and influencers. Look for a mentor with relevant experience who can act as a sounding board for your ideas, offer feedback, and open doors within established networks that you’re not yet part of. And you don’t just have to rely on in-the-flesh gurus to help you; books by authors you admire, relevant TED Talks, blogs, mastermind groups, or trusted friends and colleagues can be just as valuable in driving you toward your personal goals.IMG_8534
  1. Plan your strategy. Once you’re equipped with a solid set of goals and trusted feedback, you’re in a position to craft your own personal strategic plan. It should provide a clear pathway–complete with opportunities you need to capitalize on, relationships you can leverage, and resources you may need–plotted on a timeline, with ideal dates for completing each step.

You don’t have to rent office space or put on your best suit to get serious about achieving your personal goals. Simply start by figuring out what you want to achieve and finding some good “gurus”–those honest and experienced mentors and advisors who have your best interests at heart. After gathering their advice, create a clear game plan you are committed to executing on, and the rest will follow. When you see your growth as your personal responsibility and acknowledge that who you are may be standing in the way of who you could become, you won’t remain at a standstill for long and your personal development will fuel your success and will give you the motivation to achieve your goals!

IMG_8510How Do Successful People Think?

Successful people clearly know what they want and they think about how to get it.

In contrast, “unsuccessful people tend to think and talk about what they don’t want most of the time. They think about who they are mad at and who is to blame for their problems.”

So, know what you want and be clear about it, and you will make a difference and achieve success. The personal goal setting techniques help you to reach that clarity.

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IMG_8539What I Wore: 

Necklace: Forever 21

Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Tank: Forever 21

Skirt: Vintage (Buffalo Exchange)

Bracelets: Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival

Sunnies: Cole Haan

Purse: Michael Stars

Ring: Lucky Brand

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Jesus. Sweat. Coffee. Let’s Do This

IMG_7934Morning routines are so essential to me and to be honest, if I don’t stay up with my routine, it’ll slide majorly and so will my momentum for the day. Spending time with God, spending time taking care of my body and getting energized (Whether that be your coffee, lemon water, tea, green drink + a healthy breakfast) is something that sets my day up for success.

3 Ways To Set Your Day Up For Success

Spend Time With The Source of All Love and Life. 

Getting the right perspective, having a time of worship and gratitude and listening to Holy Spirit for direction are keys to a successful day. Without wisdom from God, we humans just can’t do life right. We need Him. He loves us. Being loved on every morning by the Source of Life breathes life into your spirit and gives you a gust of energy and a focus into the right direction for the day. He has the answers, He has the the direction. I need direction each day. I need to remind myself that I am fully loved each day. I need to meditate on His truth and promises and renew my mind to heaven’s realities. That makes for an amazing, miraculous day. His patience becomes mine, I have grace for all the people I encounter and the faith for situations and circumstances that come my way.

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Sweat, Strengthen, Burn, Breathe

I have got to work out before I hit the day. Whether it’s hot yoga, lifting, HIIT, a long walk or hike, stretching and breathing, spin, swimming or boot camp. Go work your body out. Sweat, breathe, strengthen. It is so important for your future self and for your health now. Every organ in your body will benefit. The bonus is, you’ll feel better and stronger and this will boost your confidence. You’ll be daily detoxing by sweating and breathing out toxins. Your muscles, bones and heart will be strengthened. Your blood sugar and insulin will regulate, your metabolism will boost and so will your mood! Working out is a physical necessity for having a kick butt, energized, healthy day. Make it your routine.

 

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Fuel and Energize

For some people this is their coffee time, for other’s it is their oats and greens time, for a lot it is both! The most important thing is that you are fueling yourself for a successful day. Get your brain and juices flowing by powering up with a healthy breakfast and a energizing boost whether it be your green drink, coffee, or whatever you like to boost (except energy drinks) :)-. Eat a well balanced meal (a good source of protein i.e. eggs or a shake), and grab your coffee and green drink and hit the office! I recommend only 1 cup of coffee a day, so for the mid afternoon pick me up, definitely hit the green juice or kombucha!

 

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Love this mug? You have the chance to win it!

Follow @crosstrainingcouture on Insta & tag a friend in the comments. For an additional entry, you can pin your favorite photo from www.crosstrainingcouture.com website to your Pinterest board, and come back to Instagram & comment with the link to your pin on Pinterest. 

The winner will be announced this Thursday morning at 9AM!

Check out www.crosstrainingcouture.com for the cutest inspiring work out tanks and this super cute mug!

Live Well!

J

 

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Breaking & Making New Habits

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Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day. Our days are habits linked together to form an existence chained by the slow cumulation of our previous actions. Positive or negative. 

Good News: Habits can be changed, as difficult as that may seem sometimes.

I’m a living example: in tiny, almost infinitesimal steps, I’ve changed a laundry list of habits. changed my diet, change my spending habits, exercise habits, becoming frugal and simplifying my life and becoming organized and focused and productive, finished degrees, paid through college, learned how to say no to a lot of things including food, started healthy boundaries, began routine in many areas…you get the picture.

It’s possible.

Keep it simple

Habit change is not that complicated, although it can be hard to change the impulse, urge, desire and motivation. There’s really only a few things you need to know. Everything else is just details on helping these to become reality.

The simple steps of habit change:

1. Write down your plan.

2. Identify your triggers and replacement habits.

3. Focus on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for about 30 days.

That’s it. Below is further tips and explanationa. 

The Habit Changing Details

The following is a compilation of tips to help you change a habit. Don’t be overwhelmed — always remember the simple steps above. The rest are different ways to help you become more successful in your habit change.

 One at a time. Extremely important. Habit change is difficult, even with just one habit. Don’t set yourself up for failure by biting off more you can chew. Keep it simple, allow yourself to focus on one thing at a time and give yourself the best chance for success. Ever wondered many New Year’s resolutions often fail?  People try to tackle more than one change at a time.

Start simple. The simpler the better, because habit change is difficult, and trying to take on too much is a recipe for disaster. Want to exercise? Start with just 5-10 minutes. Want to wake up earlier? Try just 10 minutes earlier for now. Or consider half habits.

Do a 30-day Challenge. 30 days is a great goal to break and replace with a new habit. This is a round number and will vary from person to person and habit to habit. A more recent study shows that 66 days is a better number do to cycles. Often we break a habit and build a new one and then somewhere 10 days after think we are masters and fall off the horse. So doing 3 month cycles is a really good way to change lifestyle patterns and create them to be more effortlessly established in your daily routine. But 30 days is a good number to get you started. Your challenge: stick with a habit every day for 30 days, and post your daily progress updates to a forum.

Write it down. Write what habit you’re going to change. Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. Writing things actually makes it that much more concrete. Set it up in your journal, goal list, to do list. 

Make a plan. While you’re writing, also write down a plan. This will ensure you’re really prepared. The plan should include your reasons (motivations) for changing, obstacles, triggers, support buddies, and other ways you’re going to make this a success. 

Know your motivations.  Write them down in your plan. You have to be very clear why you’re doing this, and the benefits of doing it need to be clear in your head. If you’re just doing it for vanity, while that can be a good motivator, it’s not usually enough. We need something stronger. If your health is depending on it, that’s a pretty big reason. You could be very ill down the line if you didn’t. 

Don’t start today. In your plan, write down a start date. Maybe a week or two from the date you start writing out the plan. When you start right away (like today), you are not giving the plan the seriousness it deserves. When you have a “Quit Date” or “Start Date”, it gives that date an air of significance. Tell everyone about your quit date (or start date). Put it up on your wall or computer desktop. Make this a Big Day. It builds up motivation, dedication, anticipation and excitement, and helps you to prepare. 

Write down all your obstacles. If you’ve tried this habit change before (odds are you have), you’ve likely failed. Reflect on those failures, and figure out what stopped you from succeeding. Write down every obstacle that’s happened to you, and others that are likely to happen. Then write down how you plan to overcome them. That’s the key: write down your solution before the obstacles arrive, so you’re prepared. Being mentally prepared for situations that may come is a key to overcome them when they do. Walk yourself through them before hand. 

Identify your triggers. What situations trigger your current habit? For the junk food habit some triggers include being around junk food, having someone offer you and question why you won’t have any or criticize you, being tired, skipping meals and being starving, cravings, emotional triggers, sadness, anxiety, stress etc. Most habits have multiple triggers. Identify all of them and write them in your plan.

For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. When you are anxious, instead of running to a donut, what will you do? What about when you get stressed? When you go out with friends? Some positive habits could include: exercise, meditation, deep breathing, organizing, decluttering, drinking water, distracting yourself, watching a show, talking to someone, journaling, grabbing an alternative food and more.

Ask for help. Get your family and friends and co-workers to support you. Ask them for their help, and let them know how important this is. When you have really strong urges or a really difficult time, call on your support network for help. Eliminate all junk from the house and if you want something, before you have to go physically buy it, call your support and tell them what’s up. Have them encourage you and motivate you. Who will you turn to when you have a strong urge for sweets? Write these people into your plan. Don’t underestimate the power of support, it’s really important.

Become aware of self-talk. You talk to yourself, in your head, all the time — but often we’re not aware of these thoughts. Start listening. These thoughts can derail any habit change, any goal. Often they’re negative: “I can’t do this. This is too difficult. Why am I putting myself through this? How bad is this for me anyway? I’m not strong enough. I don’t have enough discipline. I suck.” It’s important to know you’re doing this so you can change it. Quite allowing those thoughts to have dominance in your headspace. 

Stay positive. You will have negative thoughts — the important thing is to realize when you’re having them, and push them out of your head. Squash them like a bug! Then replace them with a positive thought. “I can do this! If Leo can do it, so can I!” 

Have strategies to defeat the urge. Urges are going to come — they’re inevitable, and they’re strong. But they’re also temporary, and beatable. Urges usually last about a minute or two, and they come in waves of varying strength. You just need to ride out the wave, and the urge will go away. Some strategies for making it through the urge: deep breathing, self-massage, eat some frozen grapes, take a walk, exercise, drink a glass of water, call a support buddy, post on a support forum.

Prepare for the sabotagers. There will always be people who are negative, who try to get you to do your old habit. Be ready for them. Confront them, and be direct: you don’t need them to try to sabotage you, you need their support, and if they can’t support you then you don’t want to be around them.

Talk to yourself. Be your own cheerleader, give yourself pep talks, repeat your mantra (below), and don’t be afraid to seem crazy to others. We’ll see who’s crazy when you’ve changed your habit and they’re still lazy, unhealthy slobs ;)- !

Have a mantra. When I wanted to loose weight healthily, it was “Slow and steady wins the race”. This is a way to remind yourself of what you’re trying to do, the purpose behind it and the motivation for you of how to get there. 

Use visualization. This is powerful. Vividly picture, in your head, successfully changing your habit. Visualize doing your new habit after each trigger, overcoming urges, and what it will look like when you’re done. This seems new-agey, but it really works. Visualize for 5-10 mins each day. 

Celebrate Milestones. Reward yourself. Celebrate. You might see these as bribes, but actually they’re just positive feedback. Celebration is a powerful tool to motivate you and refresh you. Put these times to reward yourself into your plan, along with the milestones at which you’ll receive them. Go to a nice dinner, have a fun get together, go get a massage…treat yo’self.

Take it one urge at a time. Often we’re told to take it one day at a time — which is good advice — but really it’s one urge at a time. Just make it through this urge and the next one will be easier. 

No exceptions. This seems harsh, but it’s a necessity: when you’re trying to break the bonds between an old habit and a trigger, and form a new bond between the trigger and a new habit, you need to be really consistent. You can’t do it sometimes, or there will be no new bond, or at least it will take a really really long time to form. So, at least for the first 30 days (and preferably 60), you need to have no exceptions. Each time a trigger happens, you need to do the new habit and not the old one. No exceptions, or you’ll have a backslide. If you do mess up, regroup, learn from your mistake, plan for your success, and try again.

Get rest. Being tired leaves us vulnerable to relapse. Get a lot of rest so you can have the energy to overcome urges.

Drink lots of water. Similar to the item above, being dehydrated leaves us open to failure. Stay hydrated!

Renew your commitment often. Remind yourself of your commitment hourly, and at the beginning and end of each day. Read your plan. Celebrate your success. Prepare yourself for obstacles and urges.

Engineer it so it’s hard to fail. Create a groove that’s harder to get out of than to stay in: increase positive feedback for sticking with the habit, and increase negative feedback for not doing the habit. Read more on this method.

Avoid some situations where you normally do your old habit, at least for awhile, to make it a bit easier on yourself. This applies to any bad habit — whether it be eating junk food or smoking, there are some situations you can avoid that are especially difficult for someone trying to change a bad habit. Realize, though, that when you go back to those situations, you will still get the old urges, and when that happens you should be prepared.

If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again. Don’t let failure and guilt stop you. They’re just obstacles, but they can be overcome. In fact, if you learn from each failure, they become stepping stones to your success. Regroup. Let go of guilt. Learn. Plan. And get back on that horse.

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15 Things Successful People Do On The First Day Of Their Work Week.

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Monday mornings are hard for most. We are either tired from the weekend or so well rested we don’t want to get back at it. I get it. I need to change my perspective of Mondays. I need to transition my mindset to it being the most important day so that I can set the pace and stage of my week. How do I do that? Either the Friday before the weekend I map out my Monday for next week so I don’t need to think about it on the weekend or the Monday of, OR Sunday night I map it out. It depends on your schedule, life and pace.

Weekends are so good. For rest, for a break, for not working. I urge you if you are a business person that sets your own schedule to put boundaries on your work life. Workaholics, as glamorous as today’s lifestyle and media portrays them, is not a healthy lifestyle. No rest leads to a weakened immune system, added stress and anxiety and burn out. If you work Mon-Fri at a 9-5, you are probably a lot better at “turning it off” than the business owner, or entrepreneur managing their own schedule. That doesn’t mean we need to work 9-5, Mon-Fri, I know many people that work Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday to Saturday, it just means balance, boundaries and rest.

Most successful and healthy people I know are extremely aware of the need for rest and scheduling. They are self starters, but know when they are close to burn out and have the will power to say no. Learning to say no is a acquired skill for some, because it’s not easy.

Here are 16 things successful people do on Monday mornings:

1. They wake up early. 

Successful people go to sleep at a decent hour on Sunday night, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up early Monday morning.

When the alarm goes off and the voice tells you that you went to bed far too late to get up this early, or that five more minutes won’t hurt, don’t listen. Purpose that you will get up. In fact, go splash some water on your face or jump right into the shower Avoid lingering.  If you need a little pick me up, opt for green tea or matcha. Take some b vitamins or have half or an organic energy drink. (Ones that contain, natural vitamins that wake the body and nourish the adrenals, try to avoid the caffeine ones, but if you want it, go for half and save the other half for later.)

2. They eat a healthy breakfast. 

On Monday morning, you want to handle everything you have control over because feeling in control of your day, sets you up with confidence and determination to accomplish the day strong. Eating breakfast is one of those things. For most, breakfast is a skipped meal. If that is you, grab a protein bar a take a bite, make a quick protein shake, have something ready that’s quick and just get a little in you. You don’t need to feast, but you do need to wake up your metabolism and give your brain the power it needs to succeed in the day without crashing or feeling all the side effects of blood sugar dipping and you getting cloudy minded. You don’t want to be staring at the clock, awaiting lunch time as your stomach growls at morning meetings and totally distracted.

3. They exercise.

The last thing many people want to do on a Monday morning is work out, but if you keep in mind that that will help you set you up for a good pattern the rest of the week, it will give you the extra motivation to hit it well.  Do a HIIT in your living room, jump on the bike, go for a walk, do yoga, stretch, run, swim, do a youtube video, go lift. Working out gets your circulation going and helps you stay alert, putting you at an advantage for a productive week ahead. You’ll get your endorphin rush, which will help your mood, too.

 

4. They arrive early. 

Early is on time. Being a stickler on yourself about time is not a bad thing. We have a bit of a laid back generation. Let’s not let our character slip in this area. Plan to be their earlier, it won’t kill you.  It’ll even settle your anxiety and stress and you can avoid the cortisol surge of always rushing around. Plan an extra 10 mins for everything. Stuff on the road happens and you can’t get greens every light. Sometimes there is traffic. Make it a habit to be e5-10 mins early and that is on time to you.  Plus, getting in earlier than others will help make Monday morning seem more like the afternoon because you’ll have had a chance to breathe before responding to the barrage of people and issues. Being an early bird will give you some wiggle room for the unexpected at work and personal things and it’ll help your memory. You only have so much space and if your brain is always bombarded with stress, it severely effects memory.

5. They clear their desk and desktop.

Keep a clean work space. Everything else may be clutter, but a clean work space has phycological effects on your brain to be more organized in the mind for work. You can focus and not be distracted. I know for me personally, it severely effects my work focus and work mood. I work far, far better in a clean space, with order. It actually effects my mood.

6. They carve out time for unexpected projects and tasks.

Successful individuals expect the unexpected on Monday. Your boss, team members, or staff may have remembered some loose ends over the weekend, so you’re wise to build in some extra down time on Monday morning. This time cut out in the day is for the “oh ya’s” and the “oh, craps”, and the “Wow, that is taking way longer than expected’s” or the “That is not how to planned it’s.” Make sure you have some time carved out for the unexpected.

 

7. They update their to-do list and goals.

Get yourself current on priorities and tasks, set five to eight goals for the week and finish tasks in order or priority. You may have a huge vision for in the future that you are super excited about and you end up researching that for 4 hours instead of finishing the project that has a deadline coming up. Carve out schedule to research, but don’t go for that first and push back your priority. This can be especially tempting for entrepreneurs with the flexibly in their schedule. Remember to not think of your schedule as flexible, Set your schedule as if your boss did and set this is how it goes. Being your boss, means telling your excited emotions to hold off on the shelf until the current priorities are met.

Accomplished professionals have several goals in mind for the day and week. They know that if all goals aren’t achieved, there is next week. You should always try to be ahead of your goals be a week. Meaning, doing the pressing ones first that have deadlines and then meeting them in priority of need.

8. They visualize the week’s successes. 

By envisioning the positive outcomes of various projects at hand, you can work backward and determine the necessary steps to get your desired results.

9. They screen emails for urgent requests.

You can sink into the deep depths of the email ocean if you don’t scan your inbox for urgency before you begin. Star emails that are priorities and think quality, not quantity. Take time to answer, in order of importance, kindly, sincerely and professionally.

10. They tackle the tough challenges first.

The hardest and most challenging projects are of course, the easiest to put off, but is stronger in the morning, so that’s the ideal time to confront the most difficult assignments.

11. They make an extra effort to smile.

It might be the last thing on your mind, but coming in with a highly positive attitude for the pressure cooker morning will help you get through it. You will probably stand out like a sore thumb in the crowd, but your smile will likely be contagious, helping both you and team members relax. Tell a joke, come early, be relaxed and set the atmosphere for others to follow suit.

12. They add grace to their emails. 

It’s tempting to power through all your emails in the most efficient way on Monday mornings. But before you hit send, read them over to ensure that they’re friendly and clear. Put yourself in the receiver’s shoes. It’s pretty easy to appear curt when you’re in a hurry, along with the impersonal nature of emails and texts. You want to avoid misinterpretations and potential rudeness. One way to do this: Start the email with a kind greeting like, “Hi” and “I hope you had a great weekend.”

13. They’re able to say no.

 On Monday mornings there will be many distractions—from people, to emails, to calls, to catch ups etc.Successful people can diplomatically and politely say no to distractions by offering to engage at a later time.

If your boss needs you, that is clearly an exception. However, if you have crucial calls to make or meetings to attend, give your boss the heads-up. It’s stressful to be a people pleaser, particularly on Monday mornings. Generally, no one ends up being pleased, as you can’t do your best work with conflicting priorities. Instead of aiming to please people, aim to succeed well at your job and learn to the tact of getting back to someone. Your boss may want you now, but he would much rather you succeed at your job for the company. If you are your own boss, make sure your children know when you are working, make sure to not answer personal calls until your set break to do so. All distractions are created equal.

14. They stay focused and set their emotions aside.

Successful people don’t dwell on any challenging events that occurred over the weekend, or other frivolous thoughts. Compartmentalize by putting them in a separate ‘box’ as you start your week and deal with them on your personal time. Not allowing emotions to hinder your work day is a huge part of success. You absolutely need to deal with personal issues and emotions, but learning to put it on a shelf, not a box, (HUGE DIFFERENCE) so you can address it later in the evening, will allow you to focus all your energies at the task at hand.

15. They remember that there is Tuesday.

In all the chaos it’s easy to believe that the world will cave if you don’t solve all Monday’s problems on Monday, but when the dust settles at the end of the day, you may realize that certain tasks could have waited. Sometimes you obtain more information over time that enhances your decision-making. Or you may find that certain problems you’re pondering will resolve themselves.

Monday morning can challenge even the most industrious, successful business leaders. Good news is if you compensate for all the anticipated distraction and intensity by remembering to focus, plan,prioritize and stay positive and calm, you won’t relive Monday all over again on Tuesday and your work week will be set up for success.

 

Live Well!

J

 

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6 Habits To Stop Doing In Order To Be More Successful In What We Do.

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We all, if not intentional about it, can get stuck in a hamster wheel of habit. That is our nature. We operate in habits.  This can be a good thing (good habits like exercise, your daily greens, prayer, finding the good in situations and people) or a destructive, limiting thing (smoking,  negative thought cycles, arguementative, critical, compulsive shopping…you get the picture).  We do things that aren’t good for us, remain where we shouldn’t and put ourselves through unecessary suffering all in the name of comfort. We don’t know these things are damaging, because it’s normal to us.

A rare few snap out of it and quit before it’s too late. If we are going to succeed in our job, business, career, be the best partner to our significant other, parent to our children, employee any store has ever seen, gain a promotion etc. we must get off the hamster wheel and be more intentional with the day to day to get to the place we want to be.

Quit Stopping 

 Have you ever run a marathon? A half marathon? Just run on the treadmill? Okay, I am the last one in that question, but I’ll tell you when I first started running, at mile 2, I was over it.

But I kept pushing telling myself only a few more minutes.

They say that at the very moment you want to quit, you’re actually almost finished. It’s the breaking point in us…it hits us all.  We go so far and then when difficulty comes we tell us it’s too hard we want to quit, or do quit. When did we get the memo that life was supposed to be easy all the time? Work takes work. Success takes work.  Changing habit takes work.

Think right now about something you keep stopping.I can list a few. You committed to it, but then you suddenly quit because it started to require a little extra elbow grease. A project at work, a relationship, a fitness goal. Remember why you started it, then push onward. Because the more you stop and think about quitting, the longer it’ll take to get to your desired result. Or worse, you’ll never know what it feels like to reach the finish line.

Quit Saying Tomorrow 

 We’ve all said it, “I’ll just do it tomorrow..” We have got to stop that.  Delaying or procrastinating around something that you think is important means one of three things. You’re either scared to start because it means your life will change, you want it for the wrong reasons (i.e. someone else is encouraging you to do it) or you are overwhelmed because you have never done it before and don’t know where to start.  I will give you some advice I have gotten…just start! You may fumble around, be nervous, learn your way through it, have to edit, re-edit, practice, fix it, but at least your started and now you are one step closer.

Yes, that new healthy eating thing you want to do will be very difficult and possibly unpleasant. But every day you wait to start is another day you’re not helping yourself or your goals. You do want or it wouldn’t be a goal.  Sometimes we just need to suck it up and do it.  That book you are waiting to finish until your kids finish high school…is that really the reason? Or is it because studying is not nearly as exciting as all the other options you have right now?  And for goodness sake, why are we donating free money to the gym? They haven’t seen us in months…

You get the picture.  Do it today and you are one step closer to your success.

Quit Being A Victim

 When people tell me they’re doing something or making certain choices because they have “no choice,” A. it makes no sense, because clearly we always have a choice and B. It shows me that they rather be a victim thana victor. You have a choice in everything you do. Except a few really crazy exceptions, no one holds your hand to the fire on anything. And if you’re choosing to remain in a place that isn’t positive, you’re victimizing yourself and choosing to do so.

You are not so worthless that you have to keep dating that person. Obama and the economy are not forcing you to stay in that career. There are other places you could live. And it’s not your schedule that prevents you from being healthy.

Our social groups are great for complaining. We all discuss our problems with our friends and that’s ok. But there are limits. Everyone gets a few opportunities to complain about a particular hardship, but if you seek advice and respond with “but I can’t” too many times, you officially become a victim. Eventually, you’ll have to ask yourself whether you even want to fix the problem.

Quit Saying Yes

 I was reminded recently that anytime we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. So when you say yes to a happy hour, you’re saying no to <insert your choice of workout>. When you say yes to a crappy review from your boss, you’re saying no to getting acknowledged for the great work that was overlooked. When you say yes to watching pointless reality TV shows, you’re saying no to doing the dishes or spending time reading that book that was causing so much growth in your life. Or if you say yes to staying late at the office, you’re saying no to your relationship.

You don’t need to entirely quit saying yes. Yes is good.  You may just need to analyze when you’re saying yes and what you’re trading for it. You might find yourself saying yes to things you don’t even care about and no to things that could make your life better in some way.

Quit Expecting

 I was talking to someone who told me that she’s been working for the same company for her entire career thus far, rising through the ranks and loving it. But recently she realized she’s hit a wall.  She’s had many reviews and each time she meets with management, they’re not giving her the promotion she knows she’s ready for and many have said she’s ready for. My question to her was, “Have you asked for it?”

Sometimes if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Many of us forget to ask and just expect people to see our gifts, hard work and patience.  Sometimes presenting them with the opportunity to promote you is what they needed to become present to the situation that you are ready. Bosses are busy, presenting yourself in a respectful manner and posing the question is something many of us should do.

It’s very rare for a company to proactively promote someone at a fast pace. Especially true in older organizations, if you expect your company to promote you when they feel you’re ready for it, you’ll be sitting around waiting for about 10 years to reach the next level.

Much like your significant other, your boss can’t read your mind, nor should you be expecting them to. They’ll only know what you need when you communicate it to them. If you really have your heart set on something (like a promotion), you must be vocal about it. If you don’t speak up, you’re leaving the translation up to them. Expect at your own risk.

Quit Avoiding

 We all have things we don’t want to do, but we have to do them because we’re adults.

I once managed a business in Laguna Beach with a lot of moving pieces. There were some majorly miserable elements to the day to day business and there were some really awesome parts (i.e. things you put on your resume) too. As I sat with my boss reviewing progress one day, she asked why I hadn’t finished one particular task (a task that couldn’t be delegated). I responded with, “It’s boring and tedious.” Her response was, “Haha.”

Yeah, life doesn’t work that way. Yes, things can be boring and tedious. As a practitioner on some days I review blood work on all day before I get to do any of what I consider the “fun” aspects of my practice.  You can’t take the fun parts out and leave the tough parts on the table. You take all or none.

If we didn’t have to work hard to reach success, we wouldn’t appreciate it. If there’s something you’re putting off because it’s boring you, it’s hard, physically demanding or tiring…just get up and get it done. Quit avoiding it. There will be rewards along the way and there will be a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

Live Well!

J

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