Tag Archives | challenges

Real Age Wisdom You Need To Remember

realageSome timeless wisdom you need to remember from RealAge.com.

To Feel Content, Just Take a Stand

Has something in the news gotten your ire up? Taking a stand on it could boost your quality of life.

New research shows that not just believing in a cause, but actively supporting it, tends to translate into a happier, more contented life.

Power Beyond the Pen

In a series of studies, researchers surveyed over 1,000 adults to find out if they considered themselves to be activists for any particular issue, from supporting antiwar politics to championing human rights. And the researchers found that the stronger a person’s activism, the better that person felt — as long as his or her activities weren’t extreme. Specifically, the highly engaged activists reported experiencing more positive emotions, feeling more satisfied with their lives, and feeling more connected to others. (Here’s another get-happy strategy that will help you feel more satisfied every day.)

The Good in Do-Gooding

Investing yourself in issues that are important to you helps strengthen your sense of self and fosters personal feelings of purpose — both of which can help get you through tough or stressful times. So whether you write letters to Congress or start a nonprofit, take an active stand on the things you believe in. And here are just a few more ways that doing good for others does your own life some major good:

It can keep your mind from slowing down.

It can boost longevity.

RealAge Benefit:

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger.

I don’t know about you…but I’m all for feeling younger!

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Find the Reason…Find the Change…

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Everything we do, we do for a reason. We may not consciously be aware of that reason in the moment… or we may not want to see it, but make no mistake the reason is there.

I’ve gradually come to realize that if I really want to know how to make my life better I need to first take a little closer look at those reasons, the motivations behind my behaviors and habits.
What makes me tick? Why do I behave in a certain way… especially around certain people or in certain situations?

To be honest, some of my behaviors are quite puzzling to me. As I’m sure, some of yours are to you. But nothing intrigues me more than a good puzzle, especially a challenge that peaks my curiosity about the inner workings of the mind.

For instance:

Why do I instinctively deflect compliments?
Why do I always need to be right?
Why do I wear delayed gratification like a badge of accomplishment?

And so many more confounding personal and professional behaviors…

It’s a valuable undertaking don’t you think to get to know ourselves better? How can we hope to grow or make positive changes if we don’t first understand why we do what we do?

Your Mini-Mission: Look for the Reason

When you find the reason…then you will find the path to change. (Feel free to Tweet that!)

Your thoughts? Do you know why you do what you do? Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page.

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

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No One is Immune: 5 Ways to Overcome to the “F” Monster

 

fearFear is a favorite topic of writers, book sellers, and self-help gurus…It’s an unavoidable reality for the rest of us. All of us have been caught in the grip of our own personal “F” monster at some point or another during our lifetime. Fear is a universal experience. We all have it. We all hate it. Most of us don’t know what to do with it.

It touches us mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It often gets in the way of doing what needs to be done, of enjoying the lives we have, or of creating the lives we want. And for some of us, it is paralyzing, action blocking, dream killing, joy sucking, and energy sapping.

The changing stages of life, careers, or relationships, the inevitable crisis of health, family, and money can create fear and anxiety. These transitional times and difficult situations bring uncertainty. We’re conflicted, unsure, vulnerable and we see that as a weakness, or maybe a shame or oppression of a sort.

But we don’t have to be a victim to our fear. It has no power on its own…only in our response to it.

1. Make your decision and OWN IT – Make the best choice you can, you have the power, you face the consequences.

2. Know that YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEAR  - Step back and get perspective, you are not defined by your fear, it’s only a feeling.

3. Shift your view – fear is GROWTH – We learn more from facing our fear then we do from avoiding it.

4. Taking small steps builds CONFIDENCE – Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is a muscle. Flex it!

5. Keep reminding yourself that fear is a part of the journey – Everything can’t be easy. Fear means that you are stretching out of your comfort zone and that’s where growth happens.

Fear is a part of life…it’s an unavoidable, unpleasant feeling.

It is not a force…It’s not a fact…It’s simply a feeling.

It only has as much power and impact as you allow it.

Your thoughts? How do you deal with fear? Have you ever been paralyzed by it? Do you try to avoid it or deny it? Do you lash out? Or are you calm and accepting?

 Please feel free to leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

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Mini-Mission: Learn These Four Habits…to Form Better Habits

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If you want to create solid habits that are sustainable, you first need to understand the fundamentals of cultivating habits and how to outsmart the human mind’s tendency to undermine the process of change.

Leo Babuta over at Zen Habits wrote a great article recently on this topic. In it he very clearly lays out the four steps (or habits) to form good, solid, sustainable habits. He does not mind if I refer to (or borrow) some of his ideas and since they’re good ones, I’m doing just that… Read Leo’s full article here.

This is so important. As with anything else worthwile in life, you need to learn the process first. Learn how to study, before you study. Learn how to read, before you can consume books, learn how a vehicle works before you try to drive, and so on. Learn how to create habits first, then creating them will be simpler and more effective.

Mini-Mission: Practice Leo’s four habits of habit formation…

Habit 1: Start Exceedingly Small

 “Make it so easy you can’t say no.”

Such a tiny amount of exercise, writing, work, diet change, whatever might seem worthless, but what you doing is laying the foundation.

Habit 2: Be Mindful of Negative Thoughts

“Watch the thoughts. Learn to let them go. Get good at discomfort. Triumph over the childish selfish scared mind.”

We all have those negative undercutting thoughts in our heads, the ones that play on our fears and doubts or tempt us back to our old ways. But here’s the thing…we don’t have to let them dictate our behavior.

Habit 3: Savor the Habit

“Learn to enjoy the habit, and the habit will become its own reward.”

Instead of viewing new habits as necessary torture, or a nasty, chore we detest, look at them as a start on a better life, new experiences, and growth. Better habits should be a good thing, a positive thing. Learn to enjoy them and your progress while creating them.

Habit 4: Have a Plan for When You Falter

“Get in the habit of re-starting when you falter.”

Have a back-up plan, a ‘get back up and keep moving’ plan. Find an incentive, motivation, accountability, and an alternative strategy for when you get stuck or backslide…because you most likely will at some point…we all do.

How do you put these habit-forming habits into practice?

Slowly and simply.

Creating habits is not about who gets there first…it’s about who stays there longest. (My words – Feel free to Tweet that!)

Your thoughts? Share your new habit ideas here or post on our Facebook page! We can support each other…

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

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A Better Life is Within Your Reach…The Mission Begins…

Let's Do This!What if someone told you that you could change the quality of your life just by making one small change each week. Would you do it? I mean who doesn’t want to have a better quality life – live better, work smarter, be happier and all that goes along with that.

Well, this year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, along with hopefully many of my “reader friends,” (yes, that’s you.) We’re kicking off a yearlong series of weekly mini-missions, (we’re all busy after-all,) broken down into manageable chunks – smarter choices, actions, steps we can take improve the quality of our lives one week at a time. Practical. Do-able. (If you’re thinking you’re life is already pretty good, I challenge you to raise the bar!)

Here’s the thing: I bet quite a few of us know what we need/want to do to have the lives we envision. We’ve heard the experts, read the tips, seen the studies, bought the books even, but we already have so much going on…and there’s just so much information and advice out there. It’s just too much…too much to take on.

The more we learn about goal achievement and change, the more we discover that our greatest odds of success are achieved when we make small incremental changes in our lives and build, build, build.

The problem is that for many of us that path to growth, (personal or professional,) seems too slow. I don’t know about you, but I can be very impatient, I want change NOW. But, that said, I think you and I are both smart enough to recognize that it’s wiser to use the strategy that works…even if it takes longer, than to find ourselves in the same place week after week, year after year…because significant change takes too much time and energy.

Let’s bite the bullet and get it done…week by week, bit by bit, we can make those small changes that are standing in the path of a Better Life…a Better You…and a Better Me.

Over the course of this year we’ll tackle things like –  Health and Wellness( Fitness, Energy, Stress,) Money Management,( Earning, Saving, Financial Stewardship,) Developing the Potential of Your Mind,(Attitude, Shifting your Mindset, Expanding your Knowledge and Skills,) Cultivating more Positive and Meaningful Relationships, (Deeper Connections, Better Communication, Expanding your Social and Professional Networks,) Organization and Time Utilization (Focus, Organization, Action, Planning, Being Productive, Follow-thru,) Fulfilling Worklife, ( Success, Rewarding Career, Balance,) Responsible Living (Environment, Community, Contribution,) and Life Juice, (Joy, Happiness, Passion, Creativity, Fun, Gratitude, Meaning and Purpose.)

You don’t have to tackle them all of course. Pick and choose…take what you need…try what you like, but as with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. (I’ll be doing it right along with you and I can’t wait to compare notes…)

*Speaking of notes…Got ideas, problem areas or requests for what you’d like to see in upcoming weekly missions, feel free to drop me a line or post on our Facebook page. (Just joining us…Find all of the Better Life Mini-Missions here…)

Now, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, Danielle LaPorte…

Life’s Too Short, Let’s Do This

Mission #1:  Rest…Sleep…Zzzs… Let’s figure it out once and for all.

There’s a reason this appears on nearly every list of goals, resolutions, things to do, habits…because it’s the foundation of everything else we do in life…and most of us are still doing a terrible job of it.

It’s not just about getting more sleep (we’ve heard that before,) it’s about knowing the best sleep solution for us personally. The problem may very well be that we don’t really know how much sleep we need, or what sleep pattern works best for us, let alone how to get it.

This week take the time and effort to figure it out. Don’t make any other changes. Just experiment with how much sleep works best – make it a priority just for this week. The good news…not everyone needs the often-recommended 8 hours, many do just fine on less, and some actually need more. Moreover, it might not even be the amount of sleep; it might just be the pattern or timing.

Tactics to Try:

Go to bed 30 minutes early – you’d be surprised at what a difference it can make.

Squeeze in a 20-minute nap during lunch.

Shift your sleep pattern – For example, instead of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 6, try going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 5:00. You might be able to get more done in the early AM anyway.

Trouble falling asleep? Try some wind down tactics – do some yoga, stretching, meditate, read a boring book, whatever calms your mind.

You know the drill…avoid caffeine, alcohol, news, electronics, and work close to bedtime…

There are many over the counter sleep aids that might help – natural and pharmaceutical. This may be a temporary solution, especially if you’re going thru a stressful time.

If you’re truly suffering from insomnia or chronic poor quality sleep, this is the time to make an appointment to see your doctor. Prescription sleep aids should be a last resort…but that said…you have to sleep. And a sleep study may uncover an underlying issue.

Sleep really does affect everything from attitude to weight to productivity to brain function.

We are just now discovering that sleep deprivation actually shortens our life span!

Just experiment. You may actually not need to change your sleep habits as much as you think.

This will not be easy for me…and it may not be so easy for you. My days are filled and I imagine yours are as well…and when I do get down time, I really want to decompress and read (my favored leisure activity,) but in all honesty, I need the sleep more.

So let’s give a try…you and me…

What are your sleep issues? Obstacles? Do you know how much sleep you need? Can you remember a time when you felt well rested?

Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

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

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