Tag Archives | Expand

10 Simple Ways to Find Balance and Get Your Life Back

1balanceLife balance seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind of late. We have discovered that maintaining a healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a tremendous boost to your productivity and career or business success as well. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.

The big question is…What does life balance really mean? What would a balanced life look like to us? And most importantly, how do we go about achieving it in the midst of our crazy schedules?

There are steps you can take to change what isn’t working and get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new-found equilibrium. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits and you’ll never look back!

  • Turn it off – Disconnect on the weekend. I hear the excuses already, but try it, at least for one day or even a few hours each night. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest. Bonus: Spend the extra time actually interacting with your family and friends!
  • Trim, trim, trim – It’s a given that if your life is overflowing you will never be able to achieve balance and manage it all. It’s just not possible. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Be ruthless!
  • Pay attention to your health – We hear this over and over again, but usually only give it lip service. We know what we need to do, but it isn’t a priority until we have a health crisis. Our health really does affect the quality of our lives and our work. We are far more productive and happier when we get enough sleep, eat a little healthier and fit in some type of activity.
  • Minimize toxins– By that I don’t mean chemicals (though that might help too.) Minimize the negative influences around you. Avoid toxic people (complainers, whiners, poor attitudes.) If you can’t completely avoid them, at least minimize contact and tune them out as much as you can. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible
  • Spend time alone – Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to do for the typical overworked and overwhelmed person, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, write, sketch, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely nothing. You can do it!
  • Relationships do matter – Set aside quality time with your family and friends. Don’t just sit in front of the television, really connect and pay attention to those you care about. Make a date with your significant other, have coffee with a friend, play a game with a child. Really get to know the people around you.
  • Treat yourself– Get a pedicure or a facial. Better yet, schedule a massage. It doesn’t need to be costly; a glass of wine, your favorite coffee or tea, a delightfully scented candle or beautiful flowers will make a huge impact.
  • Explore the world - Take a walk and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Take a new route, visit a new town or try being a tourist in your own. Attend a local performance, play amateur photographer or go to the park and watch children play. They really know how to enjoy life!
  • Expand your awareness – Take a class, learn to paint or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. Read a book that sparks your interest or try listening to uplifting music. Find what interests you.
  • Remember fun – Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor, subscribe to a daily joke or get a tear-off calendar. Nothing makes the feel better as fast as a good old-fashioned belly laugh.

This post originally written for Lifehack.org

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The 3 E’s – What Do They Mean? Why You Should Care?

To my way of thinking there are three aspects or necessary components to growing in life, work, fulfillment, success, balance, relationships, anything really.

Explore, Expand, Evolve

This sort of sums up my philosophy of both my work and my life.

You really need all three to be your most effective, to live your best life, to have your most successful career. They work together, building on one another and circling back and forth to form an intricate web which is the foundation for all growth, in business and in life.

But what do these words mean? How do they apply to you? To your business? To your life?

Here’s the boiled-down Cliff Notes version of my understanding and my practice.

Explore = Assess

  • Look at the situation, the problem, the reality, the goal
  • Learn more about options, choices, motivations, thought and behavior patterns
  • Generate ideas, contemplate possible solutions
  • Who am I? As a person, as a professional?
  • What am I doing? Or not doing?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What is missing? Or what is not working?

Expand = Move forward

  • Be more productive
  • Formulate a plan
  • Take action
  • What do I need to do to get from A to B, or A to F?
  • Where can I get help?
  • How can I best use my time?

Evolve = Change

  • What do I need to change?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Where am I stuck?
  • Do I need to shift my focus?
  • How do I need to revise my plans and strategies?
  • Do I need to modify my behaviors?
  • Are there patterns or habits that need to change?
Your Mini-Mission for this week: How can you apply the 3E’s to your life or business?

Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page.

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

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What You Need to Do On Your Next Birthday!

When we reach a certain age…many of us feel pretty apathetic about our birthdays. Some go so far as to dread or deny their birthday. Why? I never got that…and I hope I never do. Don’t dread aging; celebrate it. You’ve earned those years, those experiences, those lessons. That wisdom has come at a cost, but in my ever not humble opinion, wisdom is worth the price.

So, I’ll share with you my Birthday Manifesto…

Celebrate the years gone by, they are what makes you the person you are today.

Embrace the wisdom earned, respect the lessons learned, and use them them as you move forward.

Be grateful for this day, this time, this life…as imperfect as it is…it is all you have and all that you are guaranteed.

Grab each moment as it comes, squeeze every last bit of joy you can.

Savor the people around you…they are what give your life it’s flavor and true meaning.

Reflect on where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go…that will be your road-map.

Be yourself…but make sure you’re the person you want to be…that is the only thing truly within your power.

Decide what you need, what you want, and what you’ll focus on…Pay attention to those things every day.

I choose to use my birthday to catch my breathe, reflect, savor and regroup for the next year.

I’ll take some time to disconnect today, to think about where I am in my life, and where I want to go next.

What do truly want for my life?

What kind of person do I really want to be in this world?

How do I want to use the time I have left? (What if I only have a year, 5 years, 20? How does that affect my answers?)

What do I hope to accomplish?

What I long to create and

What do I want to experience, learn, try?

What deserves my attention…and what doesn’t?

Our time is finite, our energy is finite, our attention is finite.

My birthday wish for all of you is that you will make the most of all three to have your best year ever as you inch…or leap…closer to the life you truly desire.

(Actually, yesterday was my birthday…but since I was disconnected I didn’t realize this didn’t post correctly…doesn’t matter, still true every day.)

 

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Change or Die: It’s Just That Simple

Change is constant; you can either embrace it and move forward or resist it and get run over.

Do you fear change? A little uncertain?

The usual conversation in our head goes something like this:

“Well maybe it would be good, but what if it doesn’t work out. Things aren’t going that well, but at least I know what to expect. I’ve been doing, thinking, and acting this way for so long, I don’t know how to be different. People won’t like me if I change. It’s not worth the hassle. I’m not sure I can change anyway.”

We need to recognize that’s only our fear talking. We have been conditioned from birth to conform. We are creatures of habit. We live what we learn. We are mistrustful of new ideas. New ways of doing things seem uncomfortable.

Question that thinking.

It’s a knee jerk response. Look at the broader reality of history. The only way we grow both as individuals and as a society is through change. All of our pioneering inventions that improved our lives, our innovative solutions that solved major world problems, involved massive change. Changes in our technology, changes in our practices, and most of all changes in our mindset.

We would have no iPad, no apps; we might not even have the internet. Horror! 

We’d still be sending messages via telegraph instead mobile phones that allow us to call and text from almost anywhere instantaneously.

We’d still have to get up to turn the channel on the television, instead of using a remote that can operate all of our electronics in one handy little device (OK, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.) Worse yet, we might not even have televisions.

We’d still be using leeches instead of antibiotics. And dying from common viruses with no childhood immunizations.

We’d still be using iceboxes, waiting weeks for our mail to be delivered via Pony, pumping our water at the well. I won’t even mention going out back in the middle of the night. (OK, I mentioned it.) Shutter the thought!

Good grief, we might still think the world was flat and never get to visit Hawaii or Tahiti or Bali (or wherever we’d like to go.)

You get the idea. We cannot grow, advance, improve our lives, and change the world or our individual circumstances, without being willing to change. We would be confined to the life that we were born into, repeating the same behaviors over and over again, no hope for advancement, and a better life.

What do we have to fear? Success. Happiness. New friends and colleagues. Expanding our horizons. Learning new skills.

Those things don’t sound so bad, do they?

What do we have to lose? The comfort of routine. The familiar. The approval of those around us who are fearful of change. Pride if we make a mistake.

Those things don’t actually serve us, do they? Well maybe the pride, but usually it’s misplaced anyway…

Change. Be bold. Be daring. Be hopeful. Be creative. Be alive.

The ball is in your court.

It’s your turn. What do you think?

 

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Get Involved in Your Community

Photo by Dennis Herrara (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Smart Moves

Did getting more involved in your community make your list of goals or resolutions?

Here’s why it should.

Any form of community involvement can be a wonderful thing in itself. The satisfaction you experience by contributing to your community and the people around you is priceless and many times is the most positive thing you do in your day. Although community involvement by its very nature is altruistic, you will often find that you receive more than you give.

But beyond the personal rewards, being active in your community also provides a tremendous opportunity to network with people who live in your area and the professional connections can help you advance your career or bring in more business. It can also present a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and build your personal support network.

Start participating in neighborhood or community meetings, take part in activities relating to your kids’ school or join a volunteer group or cause that interests you. The choices are endless. Find something that appeals to you and fits into your schedule. Don’t view this as another demand on your time, but as a possibility to enhance your career and your life.

Plus you’ll be setting a great example for your children.

I have over the years been a part of the school PTO and joined a local literacy tutoring group. I found both to be enjoyable, rewarding and very beneficial in adding to my pool of connections.

What type of community involvement have you done or are you planning to di in the future?

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