LIFEHACK PRODUCTIVITY

Subscribe to Newsfeed LIFEHACK PRODUCTIVITY LIFEHACK PRODUCTIVITY
Help, Tips and Guidance to improve all aspects of your life
Aktualisiert: vor 7 Minuten 36 Sekunden

The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

19. October 2018 - 19:00
Are you scared of working out whilst pregnant? Or simply not sure how to proceed? Everything seems slightly more daunting once you're carrying and creating a whole other person. In this article I will give you specific advice, tips and strategies for working out while pregnant. Ensuring that you, and your baby, are safe. Not only that but you will both benefit. Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant It is clear that everyone, not just you but your baby, and probably your partner and other kids will benefit from you working out while pregnant. If you're sleeping better and feel less stress, you can guarantee everyone in the household is going to feel better. How you benefit from working out while pregnant:
  • Reduced incidence of lower back pain
  • 30% reduction in the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reduced likelihood of unplanned cesarian
  • Lower incidence and reduce severity of depression
  • Less pregnancy weight gain
  • Lower risk of urinary incontiennce
  • Reduced pregnancy constipation
  • Less pregnancy tiredness
  • May have a shorter labour
How your baby benefits from working out while pregnant:
  • A healthier heart
  • Normal birth weight
  • Quicker neurological development
  • Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome (for infants of high-risk women)
  • Less maternal stress could reduce impact on immune system development
Instant Big-Rocks for Working out While Pregnant Before we get cracking into what really will benefit, here are some instant 'big-rocks' when it comes to working out while pregnant. Safety first: Check with your midwife Each person and pregnancy is individual - and as I"m not speaking to you in person, the first pre-qualifier is that you check with your doctor that you're ok to work out while pregnant. In certain circumstances, it is not recommended due to potential complications arising from exercise. If you're new to exercising or have just fallen pregnant do check with your GP or midwife before commencing or recommencing your exercise program. Exercise Check In Second - No lying Flat or Crunches Crunches are a whole other issue in regards to pre and post natal training that I'll get into during another article. For now, know that lying flat on your back puts pressure on your body, especially after 16 weeks. The weight of your bump pressing on certain blood vessels can reduce cardiac output, make you feel dizzy and affect the flow of blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to your baby. While this means traditional stomach crunches are out, you can and should still include core and pelvic floor strengthening exercises in your routine. These I'll get to later in the article. Third Intensity Check In - No High Intensity Workouts When it comes to exercise intensity, it is best to abide by the guideline "to be able to comfortably hold a conversation" whilst working out. Unless you are an athlete and extremely used to very high heart rates whilst you workout, keeping your rate of perceived exertion to a 7 out of 10 is best practice. Experts agree that you should avoid undertaking activities that will raise your core temperature by more than 2°C – or above 38.9°C. This is because such a temperature change may result in hyperthermia (the opposite of hypothermia). Hyperthermia during pregnancy has been linked to a twofold increase in the risk of birth defects impacting the spine or brain. As such, it is not advisable to use hot tubs or spas during pregnancy, and hot yoga should be avoided as well as parking in only moderate intensity exercise. Final & Fourth Point - No high contact/dangerous sports For obvious reasons, contact sports or sports in which it's likely you can fall or have an accident should be avoided. For example scuba diving while pregnant should be avoided as your baby will have no protection against decompression sickness (‘the bends’) or gas embolism – bubbles in the bloodstream that can cut off blood supply or cause breathing difficulties. Similarly, horse riding, climbing, cycling, gymnastics and other activities that require extreme balance are best avoided as your centre of gravity shifts and affects your balance. Certainly, sports like kick boxing, jujitsu or rugby in which contact is prevalent should be avoided for bump protection. Actual Workouts You Can Do While Pregnant 1. Let your personal trainer or group exercise instructor know that you're pregnant In doing so they can assist you in providing expert advice or refer you to a qualified practitioner in your area. If you're unsure ask your GP or Midwife for a referral. 2. Use your breath to engage your core and pelvic floor throughout your workout programs Your breath plays a big part in controlled core to assist with labour and reduce back pain. We each take thousands of breaths per day, as as your baby grows pressure is placed upon the lungs and pelvic floor. Preparing and practicing proper breath ensures that your core remains as integrated and activated as possible throughout and after your pregnancy. 3. Find a Holistic Core Restore Coach The reason the Holistic Core Restore® programmes are more effective than performing keels or traditional abdominal exercise alone for true core restore and pelvic floor activation. A Hollisitc Core Restore Coach will work with you to integrate your core and pelvic floor with your whole body through a series of movements and lifestyle factors. 4. Join a Pre & Post Natal Class Join a Pre & Post Natal Class in order to move in specific ways designed to boost your health and recovery post birth. This not only provides you with a chance to connect with other pre & post natal women in your area to and create a community; but also provides you access to pre & post natal experts who can give you tailored advice for exercising whilst pregnant. 5. Focus on strengthening the glute muscles Focus on strengthening the glute muscles to counteract the anterior tilt produced by your expanding bump. Most people will simply focus on keeping the core engaged and active to help the 'pre-mummy-tummy' bounce back. When in actual fact the synergist muscle to the core for pelvic stability is the butt. Really focus on strengthening the glute muscles in order to support the core, posture and back. Hinge movements such as single leg romanian deadlifts are a brilliant way to do so. You can do this holding a Kettlebell or Dumbell but also, once the bump is big enough just using your bodyweight. 6. Enjoy swimming Enjoy swimming, especially in your third trimester, to remove weight and boost lymphatic drainage of your feet and ankles. It's well known that your ankles swell during the last months of pregnancy. This is due to the changes in posture from the weight of the stomach pulling down towards the floor. Consequently, this causes the front of the hip to become compressed. And this in turn reduces circulation of the lymphatic fluid in the lower body. One way to improve this circulation is to get into water as the pressure from the water removes the weight of the bump whilst providing pressure to the legs improving circulation. 7. Bring layers to your workouts Bring layers to your workouts so that you can add and remove layers as you warm up and cool down. As previously mentioned, changes in body temperature can be dangerous for the baby - using layers so that you can keep your temperature constant is one the the most simple and best things you can do whilst working out while pregnant. 8. Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts - squat, lunge, anti-rotate, push, carry, hinge, pull. “We love pregnant mamas to be regularly training their squats, since a low squat is the ideal position for working through contractions and pushing during labor.” They also improve pelvic floor strength and elasticity to help prevent tearing during the natural labor process and teach abdominal strength relative to hip mobility for an easier labor and faster postnatal recovery. Kiberd and her team prefer front squats done with at least a 12-kilogram kettlebell held at the chest. (Choose an appropriate weight for your level.) “The kettlebell gives great feedback to the muscles that need to engage to stand you back up and to stabilize your weight while you’re down in the squat,” she explains. And once the bump gets big? “No weight on the front is needed,” she says. “The belly is that natural weight.” 9. Do exercise that your enjoy Because really if you're enjoying it so will bump and you'll feel less stressed. Do not making working out while pregnant a chore - if it becomes that way, seek advice from an expert in your gym or area on some new varied things that you can try. 10. Practice anti-rotation exercises Practice anti-rotation exercises whilst focussing on the breath for core integration and activation. The Palloff press (a core stabilizer done on a cable machine) and the bear crawls offer the same degree of effectiveness. “These two exercises engage the external and internal obliques, which are involved in stabilizing the torso in rotation and help stabilize the shoulders down and back.” 11. Make sure to wind down properly Cooling down slowly after your workouts and providing a little leeway time before your next appointment will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more balanced. It will also stop sharp changes in body temperature that are non-beneficial to your baby. Take your time and enjoy each session for what it is. The Bottom Line You will have to make fitness modifications as your body changes, but deep down, you know that's ok. Dr Dawn Harper says “We’re now seeing evidence that exercising in pregnancy may be one of the best things you can do for your baby’s future health. Pregnancy exercise can have a huge impact on your personal experience of pregnancy, too. Provided you follow the expert guidelines, it’s safe for most women to continue and even start exercising in pregnancy. Just make sure you check with your midwife or doctor first, in case there are any specific medical reasons why you should avoid being physically active in pregnancy.” There are certain things that are essential. The first being to check with your Dr/Midwife to be given the 'OK' to exercise. There are definite 'no-nos' such as abstaining from contact or dangerous sports as well as performing extreme high intensity workouts that bring your heart rate and temperature very, abnormally high for you. It is also contraindicated that you perform any exercises lying on your back. The exciting thing is that you can and should exercise. You simply have to adapt to what is possible by seeking advice of a local pre & post natal expert. If you take one sentence away let it be this: Focus upon your breath, workout at a 7/10 level, strengthen your glutes and perform whole body integrated exercises preferentially led by a pre & post natal expert. And finally, if in doubt, get in the pool for some weight off your feet and relax! References
  1. Pennick V, Liddle SD. Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013(CD0011):1-100.
  2. Sanabria‐Martínez G et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta‐analysis. BJOG 2015;122(9):1167-74.
  3. Price BB et al. Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(12):2263-9.
  4. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
  5. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
  6. Robledo-Colonia AF et al. Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial. J Physiother 2012;58(1):9-15.
  7. Perales M et al. Benefits of aerobic or resistance training during pregnancy on maternal health and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review. Early Hum Dev 2016;94:43-8..
  8. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521
  9. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
  10. Barakata et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial 2018, 224 33-40
  11. May LE et al. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy influences fetal cardiac autonomic control of heart rate and heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev 2010;86(4):213-7.
  12. Bisson M et al. Physical activity volumes during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies assessing the association with infant's birth weight. AJP Reports 2016;6(02):e170-e97.
  13. Labonte-Lemoyne E et al. Exercise during pregnancy enhances cerebral maturation in the newborn: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2016:1-8.
  14. Muktabhant B et al. Diet or exercise, or both, for preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Jun 15;(6):CD007145.
  15. Marques AH, Bjorke-Monsen AL, Teixeira AL, Silverman MN. Maternal stress, nutrition and physical activity: impact on immune function, CNS development and psychopathology. Brain Research. 2015;1617:28–46

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

19. October 2018 - 18:00
Possessing effective communication skills is a powerful tool to have. Effective communication skills are essential to success in many aspects and areas of your life. There are a lot of jobs that require you to be a good communicator. Strong communication skills help you enjoy better relationships with friends and family. Being an effective communicator will give you advantages in more ways than you can imagine. Conversely, being poor at communicating will negatively impact your life. Let's take a look at how to master effective communication skills at work and home. What is Effective Communication? Probably a good place to start is to paint a picture of what clear communication is. Effective communication is defined as verbal speech or other communication methods to get your point across. Sounds pretty simple, right? It does but there's more to it than that. It's really about how all of us interact and communicate in every aspect of our lives. It's the ability to say something at the right time; to be able to get multiple people on the same page in a group decision. It's how that one friend of yours who plans most of the activities is able to get everyone to the same place at the same time. Non-verbal communication is key to being effective as well. It's the ability to have your body language say the right thing so the person you're speaking to knows your listening. Effective communicators don't react to situations with high emotion. It means not having to say something all the time in every situation. You are even being an effective communicator when you show up to pick your daughter up from the mall when you say you will. You are communicating to her that she can rely on you. Are You a Poor Communicator? Before we get too deep into how to be a master communicator, let's take a look at your communication skills. If you find yourself agreeing with a lot of these, you might want to sharpen your communication skills.
  • You're constantly interrupting - Hey, I know, we all want to be listened to. We all want to get our point across. Most importantly, we want to be understood. If you find yourself interrupting all the time you aren't listening enough.
  • Doing too much - Many of us are master multi-taskers. It's not good if you are communicating with someone. When you try to do too much while speaking with someone, you aren't paying attention to what they are saying. Lack of focus is bad.
  • Rambling - I know of several people I work with who do this constantly. I honestly dread having to speak to them. The worst part is even though a lot of words are coming out of their mouths, they really aren't saying anything. I'm more confused after they answer my question.
  • Not being direct - Nothing wrong with emails or reports. However, if you can convey the same information quickly and directly to someone, it is much more effective. Why write a 2 paragraph email when you can pick up the phone and say the same information in 2 sentences?
  • Always talking about yourself - Everybody likes to relate things to their own experiences. It draws us together and helps us create a feeling of sharing and community. If you are always coloring someone else's conversation with a similar situation in your life, people will think you are making everything about you. Don't be that person!
  • Using a lot of qualifiers - Qualifiers are fine for the most part. When you use them as a crutch most of the time when you speak, it's not helping your communication. Sometimes, we do this to makes things seem "softer". Saying things like "I don't want you to take this the wrong way but..." or "I know what you're thinking but..." over and over doesn't help you communicate.
  • Your ears don't work - If you don't listen well, you can't answer someone correctly. In order to be an effective communicator, you have to understand what someone else is saying to you. If you don't listen with purpose you will only have part of the picture.
  • Bad body language - The importance of body language is well documented. If you don't look at someone when they are speaking, it appears that you don't really care what's being said. This makes people feel like you don't care what they are saying and it's not important to you. Other bad body language examples include always crossing your arms and not looking someone in the eyes.
What Effective Communication Can Do For You Let's take a look at how being able to effectively communicate can help you at work and in your personal relationships. Work
  • Better client relationships - You certainly want a great communicator to be handling your client relationships. Strong communicators represent both the client and your company is the best manner.
  • Higher employee engagement - Pretty critical if you are a leader or a manager of people. An engaging and interactive communicator in a leadership position is wonderful for employees.
  • Getting better buy in from others - This is great whether you are a manager or individual contributor. Strong communicators tend to get people moving and working towards a common goal.
  • Helps mitigate conflict - Good communicators are able to help resolve conflicts quicker and easier. This helps smooth things over and keeps projects and initiatives moving forward.
  • Builds trust - You want to be able to trust who you work for and with. Effective communicators are good at establishing and building trust between people and groups.
  • Solves problems - Problems are solved by people with the ability to communicate clearly between groups and people. Those without good communication skills many times add to the confusion of a problem because they are unable to articulate their thoughts and ideas.
Personal relationships
  • Creates closeness - A good communicator is able to help foster a feeling of closeness with his or her partner.
  • Makes conflict okay - It's actually better to fight with your partner from time to time instead of never fighting. We all have differences of opinion and points of view. When we don't express these and bury it inside by not communicating, it just comes out later in a more negative form.
  • Provides support - It's nice to know that someone cares about you and supports you. A strong communicator will ask how you're doing and be a good sounding board for what you're going through.
  • Expressing feelings - People who are not effective communicators tend to be not very good at expressing how they feel. This makes it tough to share your feelings with you partner.
  • Get the loving you want - In order to get the physical, mental, and emotional love you want and need, you have to be able to communicate clearly and appropriately with your spouse or partner. This is done through effective communication.
  • Eliminate mistrust, doubt, faithlessness, and insecurities - Many times these seeds are sown due to a lack of communication. If your partner rarely tells you where he or she is going, you will tend to start coming up with your own ideas. Often these aren't true but how would you know if you aren't told?
Can You Improve Your Communication Skills? The short answer is yes, of course you can improve your communication skills. Improving or changing anything in your life takes some work and effort but it can be done. You have to keep in mind your starting point and your goal. If you are not a very good communicator now and you want to be able to give a motivating speech to a large graduating class, you'd better get working. On the other hand, if you get along fairly well in general but want to be able to improve your relationship with your boss or spouse by being able to master effective communication, you may just need some guidance and practice. Either way, if you want to master effective communication skills at both work and home, it will take a little work and effort. Doing so will benefit you in many ways. How to Master Effective Communication Skills In general mastering effective communication skills will help you at both work and home. Let's look at how to improve verbal, written, and body language communication skills. These will help you create better relationships everywhere you go! 1. Learn how to listen Speaking is only half of the communication equation. Sharpen your listening skills so you are able to process what the other person is saying. You can then respond it a well-informed manner. Check out these active listening guidelines to be a better listener. 2. Make eye contact Having regular eye contact with someone while you are having a conversation shows you care what they are saying. When you are looking at the floor or out the window it gives the impression that you aren't paying attention. Take a look at this advice on how to make engaging eye contact. 3. Ask questions When you ask someone questions, you are able to clarify what they are saying to ensure you get the whole picture. If you don't understand it fully, ask questions. Do you know that it takes some skills to ask questions too? Here's how to be good at asking questions. 4. Watch body language Watch both yours and the other persons. We all know if you have a conversation with your arms crossed the entire time, it gives off a bad vibe. Have open, engaging body language when speaking with someone. On the flip side, if you see someone's eyes glazing over while speaking to you, it's probably a good idea to wrap it up. Take a look at these top 20 body language indicators to learn more. 5. Speak confidently Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you communicate in an open, direct, and clear manner, it subtly shows people that you are confident in what you are saying. It doesn't mean you always have to be right but delivering your thoughts with confidence helps your case. These tips will help you speak more confidently. 6. Keep it simple You don't always have to be succinct in your communication. There is a lot of value in being able to tell a great story. That being said, there are many instances where keeping it simple is very helpful. This is especially true at work in both verbal conversations as well as written like emails. 7. Know your audience You should have a certain style when communicating with your boss. Another style of communication is better with your spouse and probably others with your kids or friends. Know your audience to help you communicate the most effectively. 8. Be empathetic and understanding There is a massive amount of power in being empathetic. And I mean that in a very positive way. Showing that you are empathetic and understanding to another person goes a long way to creating a great bond with that person. We all want to be understood. It's that simple. Think it's a challenge for you? These 5 tips for empathetic listening will help you. 9. Pause before reacting There have been a number of times when I've read an email that just came in and had an instant reaction to reading it. And I don't mean a positive reaction. My less effective ways of dealing and communicating has been to send a scathing email back. When I've communicated more appropriately, I've waited a while before I responded. This is true in verbal situations as well. 10. Over communicate You'd think if you tell someone something that should be the end of it, right? Done deal. Not so fast. I'm not recommending you tell someone the same thing 10 times in a row. With as many distractions as we all have these days, it's generally a good idea to follow up on something you've communicated a few times if it's important. Conclusion Having effective communication skills at both work and home will help you immensely. At work, it helps you in your career in many ways. Communicating well with your boss leads to a solid, symbiotic working relationship. You're able to clearly articulate what you need to do your job well. You can share your vision and strategy with your boss and others. Good communicators are needed in management roles and leading others. Fostering an environment of effective communication leads to a great work environment. At home, having effective communication skills will help you achieve the type of relationship you want with your spouse. You are able to speak freely and openly about your feelings. You can share your wants and needs in a manner that your spouse understands. Your spouse will feel understood and supported by you which is a wonderful feeling to have. And being able to have a disagreement and work through it due to strong communication skills is amazing. Look at how you can master effective communication skills at work and home to help create more satisfying relationships in all phases of your life.

Why a Career Change at 50 Is a Great Opportunity & How to Make It Work

19. October 2018 - 17:00
Turning 50 is a milestone in anyone's life, after all you are half way to 100! But seriously, turning 50 is often a time in life when people can sit back and take a look at where they've been and contemplate what the future holds. It's not uncommon for people in their 50's to consider a career change, after all if you've spent 20 to 30 years in a career, chances are that some of the bloom is off the rose. Often, when we are starting out in our 20's, we choose a career path based on factors that are no longer relevant to us in our 50's. Things like our parents' expectations, a fast paced exciting lifestyle or the lure of making a lot of money can all be motivating factors in our 20's. But in our 50's, those have given way to other priorities. Things like the desire to spend more time with family and friends, a slower paced less stressful lifestyle, the need to care for a sick spouse or elderly parents can all contribute to wanting a career change in your 50's. Just like any big life changing event, changing careers is scary. The good news is that just like most things we are scared of, the fear is mostly in our own head. Understanding how to go about a career change at 50 and what you can expect should help reduce the anxiety and fear of the unknown. What are Your Goals for a Career Change? As in any endeavor, having properly defined goals will help you to determine the best path to take. What are you looking for in a new career? Choosing a slower less stressful position that gives you more time with family and friends may sound ideal, but you'll often find that you're giving up some income and job satisfaction in the process. Conversely, if your goal is to quit a job that is sucking the life from your soul to pursue a lifelong passion. You might be trading quality time with family and friends for job satisfaction. Neither decision is wrong or bad, you just need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of any decision you make. Types of Career Changes at 50+ There are four main types of career changes that people make in their 50's. Each type has it's unique set of challenges and will very in the degree of preparation required to make the change. Industry Career Change In this career change, a person remains in the same field but switches industries. With an industry change, a person takes their set of skills and applies them to an industry that they have no previous experience in. An example would be a salesperson in the oil and gas industry becoming a salesperson for a media (advertising) company. They are taking their skill set (selling) and applying it to a different industry (media). This type of career change is best accomplished by doing a lot of homework on the industry you want to get into as well as networking within the industry. Functional Career Change A functional career change would be a change of careers within the same industry. For example, an accountant at a pharmaceutical company who changes careers to become a human resources manager. It may or may not be with the same company, but they remain within the pharmaceutical industry. In this case, they are leaving one set of skills behind (accounting) to develop a new set (human resource) within the same industry. In a functional career change, new or additional training as well as certifications may be required in order to make the switch. If you are considering a functional career change, you can start by getting any training or certifications needed either online, through trade associations or at your local community college. Double Career Change This is the most challenging career change of all. A person doing a double career change is switching both a career and an industry. An example of a double change would be an airline pilot quitting to pursue their dream of producing rock music. In that case, they are leaving both the aviation industry and a specific skill set (piloting) for a completely unrelated industry and career. When considering a double career change, start preparing by getting any needed training or certifications first. Then you can get your foot in the door by taking an apprenticeship or part time job. With a double change, it's not uncommon to have to start out at the bottom as you are asking an employer to take a chance on someone without any experience or work history in the industry. Entrepreneurial Career Change Probably one of the most common career changes made by people in their 50's is the entrepreneurial career change. After 20 to 30 years of working for "Corporate America", a lot of people become disillusioned with the monotony, politics and inefficiency of the corporate world. Many of us dream of having our own business and being our own boss. By this time in our life, we have saved some money and the financial pressures we had with young children have passed; so it's a perfect time to spread our entrepreneurial wings. Entrepreneurial career changes can be within the same industry and using your existing knowledge and contacts to start a similar business competing within the same industry. Or it can be completely unrelated to your former industry and based on personal interests, passions or hobbies. A good example would be someone who played golf as a hobby starting an affiliate marketing website selling golf clubs. If you are considering an entrepreneurial career change, there are a lot of very good free resources available on the internet. Just be sure to do your homework. Practical Tips on Making a Career Change at 50+ So you've decided to take the plunge and make a career switch in your 50's. No matter what your reasons or what type of a career change you are embarking on, here are some helpful hints to make the transition easier: 1. Deal with the Fear As stated earlier, any big life change comes with both fear and anxiety. Things never seem to go as smoothly as planned, you will always have bumps and roadblocks along the way. By recognizing this and even planning for it, you are less likely to let these issues derail your progress. If you find yourself becoming discouraged by all of the stumbling blocks, there are always resources to help. Contacting a career coach is a good place to start, they can help you with an overall strategy for your career change as well as the interview and hiring process, resume writing / updating and more. Just Google "Career Coach" for your options. We also recommend using the services of a professional counselor or therapist to help deal with the stress and anxiety of this major life event. It's always good to have an unbiased third party to help you work through the problems that inevitably arise. 2. Know Your "Why" It's important that you have a clear understanding of the "why" you are making this career change. Is it to have more free time, reduce stress, follow a passion or be your own boss? Having a clear understanding of you personal "why" will influence every decision in this process. Knowing your "why" and keeping it in mind also serves as a motivator to help you reach your goals. 3. Be Realistic Take an inventory of both your strengths and weaknesses. Are your organizational skills less than stellar? Then, becoming a wedding planner is probably not a good idea. This is an area where having honest outside input can be really helpful. Most of us are not very good at accurately assessing our abilities. It's a universal human trait to exaggerate our abilities while diminishing our weaknesses. Requesting honest feedback from friends and co-workers is a good place to start, but this is another area where a career coach can come in handy. 4. Consider an Ad-Vocation Sometimes, making a career change all at once is just too big of a change. Issues like a severely reduced income, geography and lack of benefits can all be impediments to your career change. In those cases, you may want to start your new career as an ad-vocation. An ad-vocation is a second or ad-on vocation in addition to your primary vocation. Things like a part-time job, consulting or even a side business can all be ad-vocations. The benefit of having an ad-vocation is being able to build experience a reputation and contacts in the new field while maintaining all the benefits of your current job. 5. Update Your Skills Whether it means acquiring new certifications or going back to school to get your cosmetology licence, having the right training is the foundation for a successful career change. The great thing about changing careers now is that almost any training or certifications needed can be had for free or at very little cost online. Check with trade associations, industry websites and discussion groups for any requirements you may need. 6. Start Re-Branding Yourself Now Use the internet and social media to change the way you present yourself online. Changing your LinkedIn profile is a good way to show prospective employers that you are serious about a career change. Joining Facebook groups, trade associations and discussion boards as well as attending conventions is a great way to start building a network while you learn. 7. Overhaul Your Resume Most of us have heard the advice to update our resume every six months, and most of us promptly ignore that advice and only update our resume when we need it. When making a career change, updating is not enough; this calls for a complete overhaul of your resume. Chances are that your current resume was designed around your old career which may or may not apply to your new goals. Crafting a new resume emphasizing your strengths for the new position your looking for is key. There are many places that will help you craft a resume online and it is a service included with most career coaching services. 8. Know Your Timeline There are a lot of factors when it comes to how long it will take to make the career change. Industry and Functional career changes tend to be the easiest to do and therefore can be accomplished in the shortest period of time. While the Double Career Change and the Entrepreneurial Career Change both require more effort and thus time. There are also personal factors involved in the time it will take to switch careers. Generally speaking the more you are willing to be flexible with both compensation and geography, the shorter time it will take to make the switch. Final Thoughts Changing careers at anytime can be stressful, but for those of us who are 50 or above, it can seem to be an overwhelming task fraught with pitfalls and self doubt. Prospective employers know the benefits that come with more mature employees. Things like a wealth of experience, a proven work history and deeper understanding of corporate culture are all things that older workers bring to the table. And while the younger generation may possess better computer or technical skills than us, if you're willing to learn, there are a ton of free or nearly free resources available to you. Deciding on a career change at 50 is a great way to experience life on your own terms.

Do Memory Supplements Work? 10 Supplements to Boost Brain Power

19. October 2018 - 16:00
What are memory supplements, you ask? You know that moment when you take that first sip of coffee, and the caffeine begins to pulse through your body and awaken a clearer mind, sparking you into more efficient state of productivity? Our ability to remember information and produce high quality work efficiently is heightened when we consume caffeine. Even non-coffee drinkers are well aware of the effects. In this article, we'll look into what memory supplements are and how you can use such supplements to boost your brain power. Caffeine vs Memory Supplements So what role does caffeine have when we consider what memory supplements are? Well, coffee is actually considered a nootropic. If you haven’t heard this term before, basically, a nootropic is defined as a substance that produces a brain boosting effect, which can enhance cognitive abilities such as reaction times, focus and memory. In our busy lives that demand so much from us in our professional and personal responsibilities, the familiar feeling of brain fog many of us suffer from can really hinder our ability to move through all facets of life with ease and efficiency. For productivity seekers and life hack enthusiasts, nootropics are definitely a new wave of supplements that are becoming more sought after and widely used, because of their brain boosting benefits. This term was coined by Romanian psychologist Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea in the 1960s, who came up with certain characteristics of what a pure nootropic is defined as:
  • Cognitive function enhancement (focus, memory, learning)
  • Improved reactions in thought and cognition when under stress
  • Protects decline of brain cells
  • Chemical protection against brain injury
  • More efficient neural pathway communication
  • Research driven proof
  • Minimal or no side effects with low-to-no toxicity
Although not every nootropic on the market will contain all of these characteristics, you’ll generally find that the more pure the substance is and higher the quality, the more characteristics will be ticked of this list in each supplement. In our context, the amount of characteristics each memory supplement displays (no side effects, protection of brain cells, etc.), will affect how pure and effective it will be on your system. The mechanism of nootropic supplements interacting with our brain pathways are various, depending on the type of supplement you take and the concentration of each supplements. Generally, these are the main ways that they work:
  • Circulation - the cerebral area circulation affects the way the brain performs. These supplements assist in oxygenating the blood, which supports your vessels to deliver nutrients to our brain needed to function smoothly.
  • Brainwaves - nootropics can change brain wave frequencies to shift your cognitive state. Depending on the supplement, this can be a effect of deep calm, or high focus and concentration (like that coffee effect).
  • Energy availability - the brain is the most energetically demanding body organ, using 20% of the body’s energy. The cell’s energy creation center (mitochondria) are affected to create a boost in the way they metabolize energy. This means you can access more mental energy, faster.
  • Repair and protection - the antioxidant effect on the brain gives more support for the brain to defend against free radicals and toxicity. Cell repair and maintenance has also been found to be enhanced with nootropic use, allowing the body to regenerate. This is especially relevant to memory supplements being used in conditions like age-related decline that comes with dementia, for example.
  • Brain chemicals - the balance of chemicals in our brain shift with nootropic use, enabling enhanced communication and cognitive abilities, such as memory and response.
10 Best Brain Boosting Supplements There are a ton of nootropics in the market, and not all are just memory supplements. Over 200 drugs are cited to affect cognitive ability, and though the research is still recent, what has been found so far is encouraging. The nootropics are all extracted from natural sources, though there are two classes of these supplements: either in natural form, or extracted for synthetic creation into more of a ‘drug’ (often coming in the form of a powder or pill). The bottom line is, yes, these memory boosting supplements do work. Below we’ll outline some of the best brain boosting supplements and the research that demonstrates the benefits 1. Panax Ginseng Traditionally used in around Asia and North America for centuries, this herbal medicine has been known to boost attention, memory and focus. It has even been used as a calming supplement for people suffering anxiety.((NCBI: Medicinal Components of Korean Panax Ginseng)) 2. Ginkgo Biloba Dating as far back as 270 million years, this herbal supplement aids cognition by allowing more blood flow to move through the brain. The main reported benefits have been focus and concentration enhancement and memory boosting. One study found that it could benefit age-related cognitive deficits in older populations.((NCBI: Ginkgo Biloba and age-related cognitive decline)) Another study found higher instances of memory recall for people taking the supplement.((NCBI: Ginkgo Biloba and memory recall)) 3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Two types of Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are found in supplements like fish oil. The function of DHA is to maintain the health of brain cells in their structure and function, reducing brain inflammation and improving brain cell growth.((NCBI: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: effect of DHA on brain function)) Memory, reaction time and problem solving skills are increased by taking DHA supplements,((NCBI: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: supplemental effects on cognitive tasks)) and the essential fatty acid EPA has also been linked to improving mood in people experiencing depression.((NCBI: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: EPA effect on depression)) 4. Amino acids There are a wide range of amino acids that the body requires to support its physical metabolism of energy and balance of muscle mass. L-Tyrosine is one example of an amino acid that is also used as a cognitive enhancer due to the effect it has on calming the system and how your brain reacts to stress.((Pure Nootropics: Amino acids: L-Tyrosine and brain function)) As it is very bioavailable (highly absorbent in the body), only a small amount is needed to produce a powerful effect. Similarly, Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino important for energy production in the body. Reports of feeling more alert and focused have been found in the research,((NCBI: Amino acids: Acetyl-L-carnitine and energy production)) whilst also being a beneficial supplement used to treat cognitive decline in those suffering mild dementia or Alzheimer’s.((NCBI: Amino acids: Treating cognitive decline in mild dementia)) 5. Bacopa Monnieri Another traditionally used nootropic is this ancient Ayurvedic herb, Bacopa Monnieri. For healthy adults, as well as subject suffering from brain function decline, it’s been found to improve memory and thinking skills.((NCBI: Bacopa Monnieri: memory and thinking enhancement)) Memory recall was also improved in another study of this supplement, though more studies are still needed to determine the effects at different dosage levels.((NCBI: Bacopa Monnieri: future research directions)) This one has been a well known memory supplement for quite some time. 6. Resveratrol Found naturally occurring in grape, raspberry and blueberry skin, this antioxidant is also found in peanuts and chocolate. These supplements are still being research in humans, though the effects so far are encouraging, with a long-term 26 week study noticing improved memory in healthy older adults when taking resveratrol supplement.((NCBI: Resveratrol: longer term effects on healthy older adults)) 7. Phosphatidylserine This compound is found in the makeup of our brains structure, and tends to decline the more we age. To preserve brain health and assist with age related decline, research has found beneficial effects for people taking Phosphatidylserine supplements.((NCBI: Phosphatidylserine: supplements for age-related decline)) Response time and memory have also been improved in healthy populations studies.((NCBI: Phosphatidylserine: response time and memory tests)) 8. Rhodiola Rosea This herb is known to assist the body to handle stress more efficiently. Research has indicated that taking Rhodiola Rosea supplements can decrease burnout symptoms and improve overall mood in people suffering from stress and anxiety.((NCBI: Rhodiola Rosea: Burnout symptom treatment)) For people experiencing brain fog and fatigue - which is many of us in our fast paced, busy lives, this natural herb is a beneficial supplement to take to create a more easeful state of mind. 9. Noopept As one of the most popular nootropic supplements, it increase cognitive functions such as learning ability, working memory enhancement, and logical thinking. It's also a known mood boosting supplement.((NCBI: Noopept: Mood enhancement through supplementation)) 10. Modafinil Another well known name on the market of nootropics, this synthetic supplement has been used especially for people needing a boost in energy when studying or working long hours. Generally, this supplement is used most widely by people with sleep disorders, though has been also taken by healthy individuals looking to boost a sense of alertness and increase in energy.((European Neuropsychology: Modafinil: boosting energy levels for cognitive tasks)) How to Take the Supplements It’s always best to talk to your pharmacists or doctor when beginning any new supplement to determine the right dosage for you. When you take nootropic memory supplements daily, overtime it has been found that some people can develop a tolerance to them. It’s suggested to cycle your dosage, for example, 5 days on, 2 days off. In this way, you can reduce the chance of becoming ‘numb’ to the effects, whilst still reaping the health benefits and feeling the shift in your cognitive abilities. Brain Boosting Recipes Depending on which nootropic supplement you choose to take, and the form it comes in, you can make some interesting concoctions when you use them in drinks and foods. Below are some favorite memory enhancing supplement recipes you can try at home. Amino Smoothie Blend your favorite frozen fruit up with a cup of amino powder.((VitaFiber™ IMO: Mango and Strawberry Smoothie)) The fruits will mask any taste of the powder, and it's easy to remember to drink in the morning to start your day. Fish Oil Dressing Salads can be easily spiced up with a dressing, and the addition of fish oil as the base gives an extra kick of nutrients. Whisk your choice of fish oil with balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic for a tangy salad topper. Ginkgo Tea Boil water in a saucepan, remove from head and add fresh ginkgo biloba leaves to steep for up to ten minutes. Strain and drink to absorb the infused hot tea and reap the memory boosting benefits. The Bottom Line So if you’ve been suffering brain fog, fatigue, or generally want to boost your brain power and see just how much productivity you are capable of, then memory supplements and other nootropics could offer you some great benefits.

The Truth Behind Rapid Weight Loss and the Best Way to Shed Pounds

18. October 2018 - 19:00
"If I drink this supplement, will I lose 40 pounds in two weeks?" - the older man's eyes stared at me vividly. Another consultation with a new member in the fitness center that I manage. And yet another person that fell prey to the marketing-trap of a supplement company that promised immediate results. Rapid weight loss is enticing. It speaks to our human nature. It's unfortunately also a false fantasy of ours at the same time. The truth is that while you might be able to lose weight in a very short time, it's practically impossible to keep it off. Here's why and how you can actually shed pounds - sustainably and continuously. The Little Secret Behind Rapid Weight Loss I've talked about this multiple times: I've googled '2 weeks transformation' about 5 years ago. It's when I started working out and didn't see the expected results. As a training newbie, I stood in front of the mirror and thought: This is not what I've signed up for. Full 14-days of relentless training and a strict diet and I still wasn't seeing the results that I've wanted. My envy suddenly started getting bigger, as I scrolled through pictures about those short-term transformations with incredible results. A sixpack after 2 weeks? It all seemed so easy. What was I doing wrong? Is there a crucially important supplement that I've forgot to take? Of course not everything in my workout schedule was perfect. I didn't have the right knowledge, persistence nor a coach back then. Yet I was on the right track, I've made that first step. But I was missing the most crucial factor of it all: Patience. The Key to Patience A mentor of me once told me bluntly: You can have it all young man. You can be a great salesman. You can be an entrepreneur. You can run a successful business. As long as you just freaking refuse to give up. Is it that simple? It is. I've came into a management position at a young age not because I'm the brightest. But because I've outlasted my colleagues. I've showed more tenacity and persistence at the right point, which eventually led to a promotion after a promotion. There are a lot of similarities between business and the results in the gym. There are just different rewards. Don't get me wrong. There's a time when you should quit. In fact, I'm a proponent of the mentality of 'failing fast'. Yet there's a distinction to be made between a strategy that isn't working because of it's content, or because of the lack of time. For a more in-depth article of how long it takes to build muscle and lose fat, take a look at my other article: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss? The Art of Weight Loss "You will never get a sixpack." - most of my friends after I told them that I joined a gym. Yet here I am, writing this article, with abdominal muscles. Flashing the structural appearance of a 6-pack. I shall repeat again: Weight loss is simple, but not easy. It's not easy because it goes against our nature. We all have to know that our ancestors dealt with much rougher situation than we did. Over millions of years our genome has evolved to store energy. No, to hold on to energy with all of their might, to prepare for rainy days. Only in the recent decades we've went from scarcity to absolute abundance. The supermarket just around my corner, in beautiful Switzerland, contains ripe fruits from all over the world. Packaged, conserved foods that can be stored in our shelf for years to come. While our recently-evolved, self-conscious forebrain is demanding us to keep losing 10 more pounds, our genome is subconsciously desperately trying to hold on to all of those energy storages. Fat cells used to be our friends, now they're enemies. (Find out more about the reason why here.) How To Trick Your Genome What if I told you that there is a way to soothe your genome and your brain at the same time? How can we manipulate both of these entities to reach our goals? Here's everything that you need to know about substantial and sustainable weight loss in one sentence: Calories and satiety are not linked. I repeat: Calories and satiety are not linked! We can eat a huge McDonalds meal with thousands of calories. But still feel hungry after one hour. We can spoon ice cream late at night - and the only time we feel satiated is after we're weighing 2 more pounds. On the other hand we can eat 1-2 cups of broccoli or spinach and often feel full. What matters is the caloric density and the 7 crucial factors influencing satiety. The 7 Facts About Satiety Hunger and satiety are sensations. Satiety is the absence of hunger. If we feel satiated, we feel full. If we feel full often we're more likely to stick to a diet. If calories are not linked to satiety, which factors are then? Luckily in 1995 there was a study, where people were given servings of 38 foods. Here's what they found: The researchers concluded:((European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A satiety index of common foods)) Servings of different foods vary greatly in their satiating capacity. And the effect of a food on one's satiety is important, as the satiety heavily influences our future eating behaviour - logically. These are the components that played a role. Foods That Influence the Satiety Levels 1. Fiber Fiber fills up your stomach and speeds up the digestion through your small intestine. This means that less macronutrients will get absorbed. Therefore also less calories. Foods containing fibre-entrapped natural sugars produced the highest satiety scores in the whole studies. Let's eat our veggies and fruits! 2. Sensory information Studies have shown that our sensory information can play a huge part in our satiety. We're primed to seek a variety of foods. But if we routinize the habit of eating and mostly eat the same foods during our eating breaks, satiety might come earlier.((Rolls, Hetherington, Burley & van Duijvenvoorde, 1986: Sensory information)) 3. Water If a food contains more water, it will naturally also be less calorie dense. Not only that, but the increased water content also fills up our stomach more. Boosting our feelings of satiety. 4. Protein and carbohydrates Protein and carbohydrates (despite the refined sugar of course) seem to have great satiating effects. Both of these macronutrients can therefore help you lose fat more easily. But stay away from fatty products, as fat was inversely correlated with satiety. Plus fat contains nearly double the calories. Other Factors That Influence the Satiety Levels 5. Plate size The bigger the plate size, the more calories you will consume.((Obes Sci Pract.: How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal‐weight and overweight groups?)) 6. Amount of fat cells Our fat cells, scientifically called adipocytes, release a hormone called leptin. Leptin levels are significantly higher in obese individuals. This is a bad thing. When we start dieting, our leptin level goes down fast - too fast. An indication to our brain that we're starving. We suddenly feel hunger, have reduced motivation and burn less calories at rests. This means that if we're overweight, our body wants to keep us like that.((Nature: Leptin and the regulation of body weight in mammals.)) 7. Serotonin Ever wondered why chocolate is so addictive? This tasty, dark food is releasing serotonine in our bodies. To the same extent as cigarettes. This explains why stress makes some people gain a lot of weight. They crave that good-feeling neurotransmitter that gets released by our brain neurons. This means that the less stress we have and the better we feel, the more satiety we will experience.((Obes Res. : Brain Serotonin, Carbohydrate-Craving, Obesity and Depression.)) The Next Steps Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. - Abraham Lincoln It's time that we start thinking long-term when it comes to weight reduction. Because we have to realize that if we use the dieting approach to weight loss we're losing both muscle mass and fat mass. This means that every time we start a diet it gets harder, not easier. If we quit a diet - or worse: we gain all the weight back - we enter a negative spiral. It's therefore absolutely crucial that we start with the end in mind. We have to start a diet that is sustainable for months to come. There are three ways to do that: 1. Keep satiety as your main focus While a calorie deficit is important we also have to focus on staying full. If our brain thinks we're starving, our diet is doomed to fail. If we fight against our genome we enter a war we can not win. Willpower isn't enough. 2. Add weightlifting and cardiovascular training to your schedule This way we can better the ratio of lost fat mass and lost muscle mass. Increased muscle mass will also make it easier to keep off the weight, as it increases our caloric need. And we can eat more, which is a great plus! 3. Instead of fundamentally changing your diet plan, add incremental changes. While I offer professional meal plans at my website, I also stress the need to incrementally adapt to the new dieting approach. A diet shouldn't necessarily be a diet. It should be a long-term dietary change for the better. We lay the groundwork to our dieting success by beginning with the end in mind. Conclusion Rapid weight loss is a false fantasy. There's no supplement that will help you lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. It's practically impossible to keep the weight off long-term, because the dietary switch was never sustainable in the first place. The 7 key components of satiety, the physical training and the method of incremental changes weren't applied properly. Instead of focusing on short-term results, we should pay special attention to long-term habit change. Because weight loss is a trojan horse. We might expect superficial results like an improved look in the mirror. But if we begin with the end in mind and if we focus on long-term habit change, it affects multiple components of our existence. In fact, some clients of ours told me happily that they've got - no they've earned - a new life.

Why Am I so Depressed Lately? 4 Things That Are Secretly Baffling You

18. October 2018 - 18:00
You can be feeling depressed without even knowing why. There're different types of depressions and not all of them have an obvious cause that you can easily identify. Our hectic life makes things go so fast that we don’t even realize we’re doing things that leave us feeling depressed. Or maybe we’ve gotten so used to our everyday life that we can't notice what we're doing doesn't make us happy. If you wonder why you're feeling so depressed but can’t quite put your finger on why, then take a look at the list we’ve made over things that are secretly baffling you. 1. Isolation Research shows that a lack of social connection can lead to a depression.((Psychology Today: Connect To Thrive)) There are different types of isolation. If you’re not spending much time around people, but never had any problem with being alone before, this can still lead to a depression. Even if you used to be happy with spending time on your own, this might change over time and could lead to you being depressed without knowing why. Some people spend a lot of time around people at work or during social gatherings, but they can still feel alone and depressed. It’s possible to be around people, but still lack a social connection with them. If you’re feeling depressed, then take a look at your social connections and consider how many people you really have around you. If you picked up the phone now and would call to ask for some help or just a normal honest conversation – how many could you call? It’s never too late to change things. If you’ve isolated yourself from good friends or family, try to reach out and see if things can be rebuilt. You can also try to engage yourself in a new activity where you’ll be able to meet some new people. 2. You can’t find meaning or purpose It’s not only philosophers that spend time thinking about life and the meaning of it. When you were younger, you probably spent some time trying to figure out what you wanted out of life and what would give your life meaning. But as you've grown older, you're just too busy with life that you forget all about it. It can be hard to pin point your depression to a lack of meaning in your life. You can have a good family and a good job, but still walk around feeling depressed every day because deep down you have lost that connection with your original purpose and what you wanted in life. Everyone finds meaning in different things. Some find it through work, relationships, helping others, learning or through creativity. Take a step back and look at your life. What makes you happy? Do you remember what you originally felt was your purpose in life and are you living according to that still? Maybe ten years ago, you thought you would find meaning in having a specific job, but now you realize that it’s not really what you want. Or maybe you went in another direction than you intended to, but you don’t feel fulfilled now. It’s never too late to change things. Here's the proof. Take some times to really look at your life and see if you can figure out some things that might look great on the surface, but is secretly suffocation you every day and ultimately making you unhappy and depressed. Ask a close friend or your family if they can help you see something you can’t, or just discuss it with a life coach. 3. Suppressed emotions Everyone has primary and secondary feelings. The primary ones are feelings like sadness, anger or anxiety. The secondary feelings are the self-reflecting feelings we have about the primary feelings. We may get sad about something, and then our secondary feeling will react to that sadness with a response. Maybe it will tell you that you shouldn’t feel sad, because it’s not a big deal. Or maybe you should feel something else because that emotion isn’t appropriate for that situation. If we feel like our emotions aren’t right, then we’ll suppress them and that can lead to depression. Humans are the only ones that are able to get upset about being upset. We have another dimension to our brain that allows self-reflection. Depending on how you grow up, we might be taught different values and were told that you shouldn't be feeling certain emotions. It could be a teacher who told you only girls cry. It could come from some family values that you shouldn’t show others your anxiety or inner struggles. These values have a way of sticking to us. If you get some primary feelings that don’t align with what you believe in, your secondary feelings will start to tear you apart from the inside and tell you that you shouldn’t allow yourself those emotions. It can be hard to deal with suppressed emotions because you're fighting against yourself; but it can be done. Start by figuring out why you’re upset about different stuff. Are you beating yourself up over stuff that aren’t even bad? Are you depressed but then tell yourself that you’re weak and you should just stop feeling so? These suppressed emotions need to be dealt with out in the open. Try to take a look at yourself and see what you’re feeling and give yourself permission to feel these things. This might be enough for some and you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. But if you need help with this, seek out a therapist. 4. A critical inner voice If you’ve ever been bullied or seen anyone be bullied on a daily basis, then you know how much this can take a toll on you and destroy your mood. Now imagine this voice isn’t coming from the outside but is actually coming from yourself every day... No one intentionally tries to pick on themselves, but a lot of us do it unconsciously. Maybe it started after a few mistakes or failures, or maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself. It probably feels nothing at the very beginning, but if you slowly develop a critical inner voice and verbally attack yourself from the inside every single day, you’ll certainly end up feeling depressed. It can be hard to recognize and diagnose this kind of depression because you can’t see how hard you are on yourself, and in this particular case – neither can the people around you. Start noticing your thoughts and how you view yourself closely. Are you putting a lot of pressure on yourself and feel really bad if you don’t live up to the expectations? Are you being over-critical all the time but have gotten so used to it that you don’t see it? A critical inner voice can easily lead to depression. If you’re feeling depressed but can’t figure out why – then this might be the reason. If you’re struggling with this, you can start out by writing down everything that runs in your head for one day, and then take a look at what you've written. Would you speak like that to someone else? But sometimes, you do need another pair of eyes to help you. If your depression goes on and you can’t get rid of yourself, you should consider finding a therapist. The bottom line Depression is a mental sickness, so it’s important to take it serious and handle it. If you were really sick with the flu or had some back pain, you wouldn’t just ignore it and hope it went away. The same applies to depression. It won’t just go away unless you decide to deal with it.

Reading for Kids: 17 Reasons Why It’s Important and Where to Start

18. October 2018 - 17:00
Reading is one of the most important activities that you can encourage your children to do. It's entertaining, thought provoking, and absolutely critical to success later in life. Being a proficient reader by the third grade is an integral factor in a child's future success. Reading for kids is not just a fun pastime. It is the gateway to learning about other people, places, and ideas, with limitless possibilities. Why Reading for Kids Is Important? Develops Vocabulary and Language Skills Before your kids are able to read on their own, it's important to nurture a love for books early on. Reading aloud to them at a young age is a great way to promote verbal communication skills between parent and child. As kids get older, we speak to them on a daily basis, but the vocabulary and topics that they are exposed to are limited and often repetitive. Reading books will improve your child's vocabulary and expose them to different types of sentence structure, writing styles, and ways to express themselves. Not only will your children's reading comprehension improve over time, this will also have a positive effect on their writing and communication skills. For children who are bilingual or learning a second language, reading is an important component of attaining or maintaining fluency. Encourages a Thirst for Knowledge There are books written about any topic imaginable, many in a wide variety of reading levels. When reading books, your kids will be introduced to a wide variety of topics, cultures, and ideas. They will realize how much knowledge is out there to be discovered and delve further into the subjects that interest them the most. In many cases, they will be enjoying the content of the book so much that they won't even realize they are gaining so much knowledge about a particular topic. Increases Empathy Children have a very narrow understanding of the world around them. This is due to the limited number of experiences that they have encountered, based on the circumstances in which they grew up. Reading books about different types of people who have had a wide range of experiences allow kids to not only appreciate diversity but also to understand what it may be like being in someone else's shoes. Doing so will help them appreciate and empathize with people who have very little in common with them and help them develop into more well-rounded individuals. The Best Form of Entertainment In the current age, technology has become the go-to for entertainment for adults and kids. Although TV shows and kids apps like these can be a great resource for learning, books are a better choice every time. Rather than spending hours in front of a screen, encourage your kids to consider books as the default source of entertainment. Studies show that in families where reading was emphasized, the children are more likely to read independently and develop a passion for books in the long run. Creates a Bond There are multiple ways that reading creates a bond between parent and child. Starting from infancy, reading aloud promotes closeness and intimacy through spending time together and being physically close. As your child gets older, you can continue to read aloud or read the same book separately and talk about the parts that you enjoyed the most. Use reading as an opportunity engage and interact with your child, asking them about their thoughts on topics covered in the book or connecting the story to everyday life. Exercises Their Brain Reading requires more brain power than watching TV. When our kids read books, they utilize the part of their brain that deals with multi-sensory integrations, making connections between words and visual thinking. For beginner readers, illustrations can be a useful tool to help them grasp the narrative and gain better comprehension. In the case of more advanced readers, they use their brain when gathering context clues to help them figure out words or phrases that are unfamiliar. Reading also stimulates critical thinking, spurring kids to make connections between the book and real life and to form opinions about the story. Improves Concentration Reading a book requires focus and concentration, which are essential skills to work on, even for toddlers who have trouble sitting still. Consistently reading books will help your kids practice quieting their minds and their bodies to focus on a task for a set period of time. By taking away distractions and giving them space to read and understand, their attention spans and ability to concentration will greatly improve over time. Sets Them up for Success in School and Life There have been numerous studies that indicate reading books to children at an early age has a lasting effect on their success in school, which often directly correlates with success in the workplace.((American Academy of Pediatrics: Reading with children starting in infancy gives lasting literacy boost)) But the benefits are not just limited to academic success. Reading is a long-term learning experience that promotes growth, which will result in your children becoming more effective people overall - better spouses, bosses, and friends. Promotes Creativity and Imagination When reading a story, our children create an image of how they perceive the story to look in their minds, using creativity and imagination. Every person sees a different image in their mind, and it may change each time the same book is read. Reading also introduces new worlds, whether real or fictional, that we have never been a part of before. Immersing in the book allows your kids to imagine new experiences and scenarios that they never thought possible. They will be able to bring these ideas into their play time and use their creativity to go beyond the limits brought on by their everyday lives. Where To Start Now that you are aware of the multitude of benefits that reading can provide for your kids, what's the next step? If your child has not yet developed a love for reading, it's not too late to start. 1. Make Reading a Choice, Not a Chore Don't make reading a mandatory task or assigned chore. Encourage and remind your kids to read, but let them make the ultimate decision on when to read and for how long. Feeling like they are being compelled to read will inevitably take the joy out of the experience. If you have a reluctant reader, try to figure out what the root cause of the reluctance is. If your kids are struggling with words, find a few books below their reading level to instill confidence in recognizing the words they DO know. Gradually transition to harder books until they are more eager to read voluntarily. Another alternative is to try audiobooks. Hearing another person reading confidently is a great way to experience fluency, and they will be able to enjoy the book without having to stumble through it. If the content is the issue, and they find reading to be boring, introduce them to different types of reading material (see below). 2. Suggest a Variety of Reading Material Reading can come in so many forms and every type has something unique to offer the reader. If your kids are having trouble finding joy in reading, it may be because they haven't found a genre that fits their interests. Traditional books come in many genres, including mystery, history, biographies, fantasy, science fiction, and more. Some books are written in unique and fun styles, such as choose your own adventure books, diary novel, or epistolary novel. If you are looking for reading material that is more visually stimulating, try a graphic novel, a magazine, or a travel book. Books are also great resources for learning a new skill. Joke books, magic books, and cook books are great examples of these. Don't forget to show your kids the practical side of reading as well. Enlist their help in reading out the grocery list at the store or ask them to read recipe instructions when cooking in the kitchen together. All types of reading counts: 3. Experience Books Firsthand As your kids read more books, they may start to imagine what it would be like if they were characters in the books. A great way to support their love for reading would be to help them depict their favorite parts of their book. Look up a recipe for butter beer (Harry Potter) or Turkish Delight (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) and make it together. Start planting a garden together after reading The Secret Garden. Another fun way to celebrate finishing a book is watching the movie interpretation of it. Seeing beloved characters come to life on screen is an easy way to enhance the enjoyment of reading. 4. Be an Example You are the main person that your kids look up to. Kids love copying their parents and doing the things they observe their parents doing on a daily basis. Don't just tell your kids to read often; show them by doing it yourself.((Hot and Sour: 5 Ways to Rediscover Your Love for Reading)) Actions speak louder than words. When you model your own love of reading and books and show them the joy it brings to your life, they will be inclined to feel the same way. 5. Set Aside Time For a child with a busy schedule and so many other fun screen-filled activities to choose from, it can be difficult to purposely reserve time for reading. Make this decision a little easier by creating dedicated time that is just for reading. This can be just before bed, right after homework, or whatever time works best for your family's busy schedule. This time can be used for read aloud time with your child or independent reading. 6. Bring Books to Life Finding real life connections to the books that your kids are reading will extend the joy of the reading experience. Did your children just finish a book about life on the farm? Take them to visit a local farm and experience what they read about firsthand. Reading a book about planets and space can turn into a trip to the planetarium. For a more memorable excursion, take a family trip out of the country, like visiting London after finishing the Harry Potter series. 7. Make Books Accessible One of my favorite activities to do as a child was to go to the library. The vast number of books that were at my disposal made me so excited to read. Find a great library in your area to take your children and let them experience the magic of limitless possibility. Sign your kids up for their own library card and encourage them to take ownership of their reading adventure. Start a small collection of books at home so that your kids will always have books at their fingertips. Visit a bookstore, browse online, or sign up for a monthly book subscription. Getting access to new books on a regular basis will keep reading exciting and fun. 8. Start a Book Club Having other people help you stay accountable is a great motivation to read more and to discover new books you may not have otherwise. Encourage your kids to start a book club, either with their peers or with you. Choose a book everyone would enjoy and set a deadline for getting together and discussing what each person thought of the book. The tangible due date is a great incentive to stay on track and read on a regular basis. The Bottom Line Fostering a love for reading in your kids is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Reading books can transport them anywhere they could imagine, and the benefits that it provides for them in the short and long term are innumerable. Use these tips to actively encourage reading to be an enjoyable part of their lives, and it will be worth the effort.

How to Instantly Boost Your Productivity by Modifying Habits at Work

18. October 2018 - 16:00
The smell of coffee hits your olfactory senses, the steam rising from your cup to add a nice touch. Ah, the start of every weekday morning. Your freshly ground beans soaked in boiling water firmly in hand, you trot to your desk ready to attack the day with some vigor. After all, your mind is clear of all drama and distraction. At least temporarily. But as soon as you nestle in your chair and get ready to hit the ground running, the distractions come flying at you full force. Your focus, to say the least, begins its rapidly declining state. That fresh cup of coffee tries its hardest to keep you in check, and it might for maybe an hour. But it's a losing battle; a battle we seem to forfeit on an almost daily basis. There are ways to help combat such terrible odds though, and the good news is you’re in complete control of them. The better news is they don’t require extra cups of coffee. The following six suggestions are easy ways to modify your work habits to instantly boost your productivity. 1. Get to work earlier By this point, you’re probably yelling at me. Hey, I didn’t say this stuff would be easy, just that it’ll be worth it. It’s been scientifically proven that a lot of people get their best work done in the early morning. Your mind is clear of most distractions, and you’re able to apply yourself to the task at hand. Getting to work early serves two purposes: One, it allows you to take advantage of the fact we’re capable of focusing on the hardest things up front in the mornings. And two, it allows you to beat the rush of your colleagues coming in and contributing to your lack of focus. Think about it like this: At 7 AM, no one’s really in the office yet. This means no one is going to stop by your desk to chat about how your weekend was or how your kids are doing, since your colleagues aren’t there yet. It also means no one is going to bug you via email or whatever internal chat client you use for the same reason — they aren’t there yet. Fewer people around and fewer emails, which are two of the biggest time drainers taken care of. In comparison, if you get to work at 9 AM, most people are probably there by then, or right behind you. You really don’t have a chance to be “alone”, so to speak. 2. Put your phone face down or in airplane mode If you sit at your desk and your phone lights up, your eyes dart right to it. Once they do that, forget trying to check it later — you need to check it now. Because, after all, we love that small dopamine hit we get when a new notification comes through.((Psychology Today: Why We're All Addicted to Texts, Twitter and Google)) At the office, you don’t have the luxury of throwing your phone across the room or leaving it somewhere else. So your options become two-fold. Either put it face down and stop the habit of constantly checking. Or, put it in airplane mode. Ideally, keep it face down as well. If this were your house or if you'd have important clients calling you, I’d tell you to put your phone in another room while you focus on working. I know this sounds incredibly simple, but you’d be surprised how easy and effective this trick can be when trying to focus. 3. Don’t check emails immediately When you first sit down, you’ve probably collected quite a few emails overnight. But try to hold off on firing away with your responses. Checking emails first in the morning isn’t good for you. Here’s why. Remember, you do your best work in the early mornings most of the time. Don’t waste it checking emails and crafting responses that don’t require much brainpower. When you feel the lull of the afternoon or need a little break, use the time to deal with emails. Getting better at focus is like a game of trying to understand when you’re the most efficient and then “trapping” that state and using it to your advantage. It’s a skill which takes time to master. We can be incredibly inefficient due to the simple fact we don’t utilize our time properly. 4. Bring headphones Having a pair of headphones serves you two-fold. One, you’re able to use the time to listen to audiobooks or listen to some music if your surroundings become too distracting. Music has proven itself to get us into the right mood on the right occasion, depending on what we listen to. We can also get ahead with our reading and feed ourselves knowledge by listening to audiobooks. The second way could be even better — coworkers will leave you alone. We all know those people in the office who love to walk around and just waste a lot of your time with small talk. Look, we get it — your kids and wife are doing great and you’re also miserable since you can’t seem to sit down and focus on your own work, so you come to me in the hopes I’ll get sucked into the depths of your small-talk black hole. Your only chance of survival? Don those headphones. You’ll deal with less small talk since you look like you’re in the zone. And no one wants to interrupt someone in the zone. 5. Schedule meetings for the afternoon For the exact same reason not to check your emails in the morning, try to schedule most meetings for the afternoon. Corporate environments are known for their plethora of meetings anyway, so instead of spacing them out throughout the day, put them off until you absolutely need them. If the meeting involves strategy and creativity (in other words requires some actual serious brainpower), it’s not a bad idea to have it in the mornings. And some meetings are inevitable to have in the morning, namely because it isn’t your choice. But for a general rule of thumbs, put them off until later in the day when you don’t need to worry about your focus as much. And in case you want your meetings to be effective, here's how: 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know 6. Get more sleep (before work) Last but not least, sleep! This is the biggest one and also the one which will give you the best return on your investment. Lately, I’ve noticed a trend on social media. One which says in order to be successful, you must give up sleep. Because apparently, without my knowledge, you can only become the best version of yourself and obtain the riches you so desire if you sacrifice serious shut eye. As if the secret key to success we’ve all been missing has been to stay up later than our colleagues and fellow compatriots. Ah, if only it was that easy. Mainly because we already sacrifice a lot of sleep. If you can manage to get a bit more shut-eye on a fairly consistent basis, the payoff is worth it. I’ve seen it first hand myself. Your need for caffeine decreases, your alertness and focus increases, and your desire to be productive jumps ten-fold. In fact, research suggests that in a typical 8-hour workday, we’re only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes of that time.((Inc.: In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker Is Productive for This Many Hours)) A large part of that is our consistently tired state of affairs. Want to instantly boost your productivity? Make it a habit to get to bed earlier. I understand it’s not easy. It requires putting your phone away earlier the night before, drinking less caffeine leading up to the evening, and potentially getting more exercise in so you can feel tired earlier. But getting the right amount of sleep is your single biggest weapon against a lack of focus. As they say, the best things in life aren’t free. While monetarily this may be free, figuratively it’s far from it. The bottom line With a few good habits, you can improve your productivity at work without having to rely on eight cups of coffee a day. Some may require a bit more willpower and discipline to implement, but they’re all great ways to get more work done. What will you do to help improve your productivity?

Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness

17. October 2018 - 19:00
Every day, we set goals to improve our overall wellness. But what if you could take those health goals you're setting and transcend them into daily habits? If you've envisioned yourself happier, healthier, and more energized, I've put together concrete steps you can take to get there. The Importance of Setting Health Goals Goals vary between big and small, achievable and maybe far-fetched. When setting goals, it's important to do so in such a way that allows you to obtain them and naturally weave them into your daily life. To create new habits, it can take up to sixty days to make them stick. I've noticed that when I try to accomplish huge goals, my efforts to turn them into daily rituals or routines doesn't manifest the way I'd hoped. Wellness takes practice. It means different things to different people. Being healthy means being peaceful, serene and joyful in your thoughts and mind--how you respond to events in this wacky world we live in and in your life. Optimal health should always be your desired outcome. However, life can get in the way of making your health goals habitual. Recently, I'd endured a major loss in my family and I definitely felt my health slip throughout these stages of grief. I found it a challenge to function day-to-day, finish tasks, and wound up isolating myself more. The work that I love doing became not so enjoyable because I couldn't give myself the chance to grieve or process the loss. I kept piling on work to avoid feeling and couldn't keep up with eating well, exercising and lost nights of sleep. I am somebody who can't afford to lose sleep nor am I somebody who can over-jam my schedule. I am someone who needs to keep up with those good habits for the sake of my heart, mind, and physical health. I believe this is relative for everybody. When you're stressed or emotionally distressed, your heart is one of the first organs in your body that will feel the pain and react. Life will throw those unexpected curve balls at you, so it's critical to sustain those habits. Turn your quest for balance and good health into actionable steps that slowly become routines. 17 Health Goals That Will Transform Your Life Don't attempt to force habits. It's OK if it takes a while to really get in the groove and adjust. So, here are the seventeen health goals that you can make into habits to become your healthiest self. 1. Develop Your Morning Routine How you start your day matters tremendously. The way you greet a morning determines what mood you'll be in that entire day. If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, rush to get dressed, shove something in your mouth and hustle to work, you'll most likely feel rattled. A morning routine will help you ease into your day and start off on the right foot. If you've had a health goal to have more time in the mornings, start in fifteen minute increments. Wake up a fifteen minutes earlier each day until you're happy with the time. More time in the mornings means more time and attention to work obligations and people you care most about. Here're 30 Morning Routines to Help You Start Afresh. 2. Develop Your Evening Routine An evening routine can consist of reading, Yoga, cleaning and organizing, or doing an exercise. Winding down is critical for mental health management. Come 7:00 or 7:30 P.M., that's when you might want to start allowing your brain and mind to relax. Your evening routine can entail anything that promotes peace and serenity. If something relaxes you and gets you prepared for bed, do that. To make a health goal into a habit, set a time to stop working. The time I quit working is at 5:30 P.M. I cook dinner and after, my evening routine begins. Need a little more advice? This guide can help: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive 3. Walk for Thirty Minutes a Day At a recent medical conference I'd attended, I learned about meditative walking. The sound of your shoes hitting the ground intervenes in troublesome thoughts. Feeling planted on the pavement anchors your mental and emotional state, keeps you stable. I walk a couple times a day for my heart health--in the early afternoon and evening to activate my heart rate. Inactivity is dangerous for anyone, with or without heart disease. A regular routine of walking will decrease stress and increase a peace in the mind. 4. Incorporate More Greens on Your Plate Over the last couple of years, I created a rule for my plate: Always have something green included. Greens, especially dark leafy greens, have a broad array of benefits from healthier skin, vision, and energy to stronger kidneys and organs. I'd noticed significant improvement in my overall well-being when I incorporated something green even in my breakfast. Clean eating will lessen all kinds of aggravating symptoms. This is something you'll want to do over time. Start off slow by adding greens to your dinner or lunch plate. Any kind of dietary change takes time, some effort and planning. But it's all worthwhile. 5. Use Aroma Therapy for Stress Management Essential oils truly are essential to wellness. In times of stress, I will dip a cotton ball into lavender oil, chamomile or eucalyptus and tie it in a tea bag. Throughout the day, when I'm feeling flustered or rushed, I slow down and breathe in the oils. I'd feel drastic changes to my mental and emotional state and refreshed. Aroma therapy has been used for thousands of years as tools for healing. If you're feeling overwhelmed, try different ways of using essential oils throughout the day or at night. 6. Engage in Nature Therapy There are a variety of nature therapies you can do to lower your stress and anxiety. I recently learned about tree therapy from an international blogger. I tried it over the summer and am still doing it. It's originally a Japanese practice called, 'Forest Bathing' and it's radically improved health in people. All you do is surround yourself with trees. The concept is to be free from obligations, effort, and doing. Don't hike or count your steps. Just be present. Focus on all five of your senses. It's revitalizing and energy restoring. Try doing this for ten minutes a day and see how you feel. 7. Inhale Fresh Air Fifteen Minutes a Day Fresh air opens the lungs, the heart and the mind. It's a collaborative process with yourself and nature. Sometimes I'll sit with my eyes closed in a safe place and breathe in the pine-scented air. I made this a daily habit now because being outside is emotionally and mentally healing. A benefit of breathing in fresh air is it sharpens your mind and restores your energy, digestive system, and improves blood flow. 8. Try This Simple Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique for Anxiety A diaphragmatic breathing technique I learned has allowed me to tackle anxiety the second it comes on, thus aiding in cognitive functioning. If you're anxious or overly stressed all the time, your system will operate as if you're always in fight or flight. Deep breathing slows all the systems in your body down. It clears your mind of troubled or worrisome thoughts. Try this: Inhale through your nose four times and exhale, making a sound as you breathe out. Repeat it four times and be wowed by the results. You'll feel much calmer. 9. Devote 10 Minutes of Stretching in Your Day Stretching is needed to strengthen, repair, and grow muscles. Every day, I use the Styrofoam roller which you can buy on Amazon or even eBay. I'd never thought Styrofoam would cost so much but it's worth every penny. Before and after I work out, I use it and then stretch. I do a fifteen-minute routine right at home on my living room floor. As someone with chronic pain, I've noticed drastic improvement when I focus on increasing flexibility. Stretching also fosters movement. A long day at work calls for time to decompress and release the stress of your day. You can also try these simple stretches to relax your body and mind. 10. Take Naps Within the last couple of years, managers of corporations and other companies have been allowing their employees to take naps in the middle of the day. A nap will revitalize your physical energy and mind; and refresh your eyes and focus. Since I've added naps to my daily regimen, my productivity increased by seventy percent. Naps are a great way to give yourself the break it needs. 11. Organize Your Home or Work Space for 15 Minutes Fifteen minutes of cleaning will save you so much time. Did your old routine used to consist of abandoning those chores during the week only to be slammed with them come Saturday and Sunday? Have you found yourself canceling plans with friends because life feels like such a mess in your home? It's not a good place to be. Fifteen minutes of cleaning a night (or morning, whichever works best) will add time to your life. Your home should be your oasis. A clean place is vital for stress management. 12. Morning Pages You can really do this in the morning or night. Dump your thoughts on paper before you start a work day. After I'd read the book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, I tried her morning pages activity. It's a form of letting go of that added weight that life gives us: career, hobbies, kids, family, worries, burdens, you name it. This technique of free-writing your thoughts should move you away from fear and back to your creative or hard-working self, the one who is fearless in their pursuits. After I did the morning pages, I wrote a novel in a month and felt extremely accomplished. This type of writing is freeing and will release you from the burdens you feel holds you back. 13. Schedule Moments of Silence Just ten minutes of silence can have profound impacts on your mental health. I used to be somebody who needed something to make me happy, something to make me feel OK another day. I basically needed things in my life to be happening or I'd feel insecure. When I started penciling in moments of silence, I got to the root cause of why that got so out of control, the need and desire to always be seeking something. These moments of silence should give your mind pause, a break from tedious thoughts. For me, doing this has improved my depression and anxiety astoundingly. 14. Include Writing in Your Morning or Evening Routine I know this relates to the morning pages but not exactly. This you can do in three to five minutes. I'd been talking about this method of writing for years and it's finally catching on (yes, I started this). Try logging what you accomplished each day and what you need to do the next. Create a comprehensive outline showcasing how much you've achieved and what else needs attention. You'll be amazed when you realize how much you've done in a day and hopefully will stop being so hard on yourself. I am very hard on myself, unnecessarily so, and it's unhealthy for the heart and mind. This approach to writing saved me in a lot of ways. 15. Wake up at a Set Time Each Morning If you wake up at 7:00 in the morning, always wake up at 7:00 in the morning. A set sleep schedule will keep your circadian rhythm the same, which you want. Then, you'll be able to predict those dips and rises in alertness each day. If you have dietary restrictions or want to start eating healthy, keeping your sleep pattern steady and the same will make healthy eating easier. 16. Establish an Invigorating Skin-Care Routine Whether you're a man or a woman, have some kind of skin-care routine or time to wash those impurities away. A regimen promotes anti-aging and will make you feel and look good. Morning and night, try something simple and effective to help you either wind down or wake up. 17. Dry Brushing The benefits of dry brushing are amazing. If you struggle with anxiety and stress chronically, dry brushing is the way to relax. It's perfect for increasing circulation, blood flow, and positive energy. Recent studies show that dry brushing is also beneficial for the nerves. The action of dry brushing eliminates dead skin cells and promotes healing. Bottom Line A lot is in that list but bottom line: incorporating even the smallest goals and making them habits will transform your health in some way. You can pick and choose which best suit your needs but I do just about all of these daily now. If you've fallen off the wellness wagon, try doing a few of these regularly. Turning health goals into habits will transform your well-being in ways you'd never imagined and you'll feel unstoppable.

How to Cope with Stress When You’re Overwhelmed by Responsibilities

17. October 2018 - 18:00
Between excelling at work, juggling domestic duties and managing relationships – life can get extremely stressful. Whether you are struggling with projects at work or a single mother balancing home and work, there is no denying that responsibilities and expectations are weighing you down, leaving you stressed. Think about it - when did life stop being fun and exciting, when did it turn into a relentless race that just leaves you exhausted and whatever you do just does not seem to be enough? It is natural to get so engrossed in our daily duties that we don’t realize when we succumb to existential chaos and take our health for granted. Understand that there will be things that won’t be in your control, what can be controlled are your thoughts, and you must know that nothing in this world is worth stressing over. If you are someone who cannot stop worrying and are always anxious – it’s time to shift focus and work on improving your mental health. Here are 14 practical ways on how to cope with stress and not let it take over your life: 1. Stay Organized It's a typical day for you, nothing short of a marathon wherein you are buried under work. And before you know it, the day is over, you go to bed tired and the next morning, the entire drill starts all over again. If this resonates with you, it helps to get organized and keep a to-do list. Whether it’s jotting tasks down on your phone or keeping a notebook – it helps to give yourself tasks for the day, prioritize well and tick them off as you complete them. Sometimes, when our thoughts are all over the place, just seeing them written down is a great start too. Having a to-do list helps you keep track and maintain realistic goals for yourself. Take life one day at a time and you are sure to cope with stress better. 2. Overcome Perfectionism You need everything to be perfect and won’t settle for anything less? While this is great for your ‘image’ and gets you appreciation, do you realize that it is hugely self-destructive as well? Perfectionism leads to high levels of stress. In your quest for flawlessness, you end up obsessing over the smallest slip-ups which leaves you frustrated and unhappy. Get this -- no one is perfect so stop trying to get there. Focus on doing your best, quit being overly self-critical and learn from your mistakes. Free yourself from the unrealistic standards you set for yourself and you will be surprised to see how liberating that feels. 3. Resolve Conflicts A lot of times stress arises due to conflicts with a co-worker, friend or partner. The best way to cope with stress of this kind is to confront the person in question and resolve the conflict by effective communication. Many people make the mistake of running away from confrontation and live with the tension which just leads to the build-up of stress. So, the next time you get into a heated argument with your partner or are facing issues with your manager – make it a point to talk things out and resolve it instead of harboring negative emotions. 4. Delegate Smartly You are not superman or superwoman - you cannot possibly try to do everything and be everywhere. What you should do when you have a lot on your plate is delegate effectively to save yourself from undue stress. Delegation is a skill – you need to assess the task, choose the right person for the job, set expectations and follow up after. You might put it off thinking it is a lot of work or you may be more comfortable micro-managing but there is only so much you can do in a day so why not get someone else on-board and make life easier? 5. Learn to Say No Everyone wants to be liked and please people, but what happens when your inability to say no adds to your stress? Whether it’s your boss bombarding you with unreasonable work or your child's school committee asking you to volunteer in an event – it is okay to say no if you are grappling with too much. Saying no does not make you a bad worker, parent or friend. It ensures you spend your time doing what is important and urgent instead of making commitments you would regret later. Leo Babauta has some unique advice on the gentle art of saying no. 6. Avoid Procrastinating How many times have you put work off till you couldn’t anymore and suffered a mini panic attack in the end? Procrastination isn’t healthy and leads to stress that can clearly be avoided in the first place. When you have immense work, break it down into smaller tasks, set timelines and get done with it. Eliminate distractions, take breaks if required and reward yourself for motivation but avoid getting stuck in the vicious cycle of procrastinating. Lifehack's CEO has created a guide on beating procrastination: What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating) 7. Enjoy ‘Me’ Time When was the last time you treated yourself to a relaxing spa or went shopping with your friends? Yes, you have responsibilities and lots to achieve in life but sometimes, all you need to do is sit back, relax and live in the moment. However busy you are, make it a point to take some time out for yourself. Do things that relieve you off the stress – it can be something as simple as reading a book or listening to soothing music at the end of a busy day. Rejuvenation is important as it helps clear your mind and promotes healthy living. So, pamper yourself silly once in a while because you deserve it. 8. Eat Healthy Everyone reacts to stress differently – while some end up binging, there are others who lose their appetite instead. Either way, these extreme reactions to stress are extremely unhealthy. One of the best ways to cope with stress is to just eat healthy. Have a balanced diet and include food items that are likely to combat stress levels. Instead of turning to aerated drinks, pizzas and cheesecakes thinking they will make you feel better, opt for healthier comfort food options such as dark chocolate, oatmeal or a healthy salmon burger to de-stress. 9. Get Enough Sleep We often take our sleep for granted without realizing that being well-rested and getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders to our productivity and mood. Getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night is vital. But what do you do when you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, thanks to your anxieties and busy mind? Practice relaxing techniques such as reading a book or taking long deep breaths before bedtime and try going to bed at the same time every night. These small changes can help you get a good night’s sleep, so you can wake up refreshed. 10. Meditate Regularly Meditation is all about focusing on the present moment and embracing a calm, peaceful state of mind. This relaxation technique lets you shift focus from your worries and anxieties and attain inner peace. Find a quiet place at home and start by devoting 15-20 minutes of your day to meditation. With regular practice, you are bound to see a transformation in your concentration levels and the way you approach life, in general. You may want to try this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime. 11. Indulge in a Hobby We all had hobbies growing up but very of us are still in touch with those hobbies today. One of the reasons you remain so stressed might be because you are so stuck in the drudgery of everyday life, that you hardly make time for things that make your happy. It’s time to get out of the rut and MAKE time for your hobbies. Indulging in hobbies is a great stress buster and gives you the much-needed respite that can boost your mental health. So, discover what you enjoy doing and incorporate it in your schedule. 12. See a Therapist If you find yourself going through bouts of stress and anxiety that is making it difficult for you to get through the day, reach out to a therapist. There is nothing wrong in asking for help when you need it. Instead of getting lost in your cloud of thoughts, talk to therapists who can guide you. They can help you get to the root of the problem, guide you on coping with stress and handling your emotions. 13. Take a Vacation Vacations are therapeutic. Just a change in environment, seeing a new place and taking a break from work and everyday duties can help you beat stress and de-clutter your thoughts. It’s a great time for everyone in the family to go to someplace new and spend quality time together. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a vacation abroad – planning family vacations is always a splendid idea. 14. Be Kind to Yourself Last but not the least, be kind to yourself. In times of overwhelming stress, we are likely to lose our temper on people around us and most importantly, on ourselves. We rush to beat ourselves over not being able to fulfill expectations; but the truth is that, none of this self-loathing behavior is going to make it any better for you. You should be patient, practice self-love and comfort yourself such that you can work around your responsibilities in a better, more positive manner. The Bottom Line Yes, life can get very stressful at times and your responsibilities just don’t seem to end. But how you wish to deal with it completely depends on your attitude and perspective. You can either succumb to the stress and let life get out of your hands, or you can take charge of matters and choose to live a happier, healthier life - the choice is yours!

Master These 10 Management Skills to Become a Strong Leader

17. October 2018 - 17:00
The newspaper headlines, blogs, social media, TV programs are talking about leaders, leadership qualities and people who occupy high positions in government, enterprises and multinational corporations more and more every day. We understand that all these high positions are not the main things we should talk about. Leadership is not about the profession, place of a particular person in the hierarchy of the company or government body. It doesn’t make anyone a strong leader. Being a strong leader means acquiring management skills which allow you to lead people, to get them to the new achievements and high results. That’s the ticket. It doesn’t matter you are a small company manager or an industry leader the next list of TOP-10 management skills will boost your effectiveness, will make you a strong leader. 1. Strong leader inspires the team Remember that your job is not just about hitting goals, enhancing sales or raising profits. We both realize the importance of these indicators for stakeholders and investors. Now let’s focus on leading your team. Be rooted in reality and always strive to give your empathy, perspective to all circumstances and situations you encounter. Roll up your sleeves and inspire:
  • Be visible among your staff to become their inspiration. There is no chance to be a good leader hiding in your office on a top floor;
  • Join your team to complete ad-hoc projects. Believe us, your participation and contribution is always inspiring;
  • Focus on each person’s strengths, stay enthusiastic with his/her contribution;
  • Be closer to your team;
  • Find the right words. It may be the biggest challenge of the day, the right words in a difficult situation can show that you are a really good leader.
2. Make a wise delegation your number one priority It is obvious that you can’t do everything by yourself. Moreover, you shouldn’t do that. Your ability to delegate responsibilities shows that you trust your staff, you are sure in their competitiveness. It is the best thing that you can do within a team environment. You’re able to kill two birds with one stone: you can reduce your own stress level and make the workplace more friendly showing confidence in workers’ abilities. How to delegate to the right person? When you’re thinking about the person who will take some responsibilities consider three factors:
  • The relevance between the skills, experience of the person and the delegated tasks;
  • Working style (is he or she is a team player or independent performer; does he has goals which correspond with the responsibilities which you want to delegate?);
  • The workload of the person (does he/she has time to take new responsibilities or this delegation requires some reshuffling of responsibilities).
Check out Lifehack's CEO advice on how to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders) 3. Stay responsible and don't blame Failures always happen. You need to accept this fact and learn how to overcome them. Your job is not to find who is wrong but to take responsibility together with your staff. Make your subordinates understand that all of them are accountable for the decisions they make. Remember that you are their leader, you should take a part of the responsibility for their actions. Always give them a pat on the back if you see their good results but don't blame in case of failure. Make an atmosphere in which everyone feels your support and willingness to realize mistakes together and work on their improvement hand by hand. Taking personal responsibility for your company and everything that happens in it including failures will motivate your employees to follow you. Don't make excuses, better do this:
  • Take your personal responsibility for the failure;
  • Try to work on the problem to fix it;
  • Think about what you should have done before to prevent this mistake and what to improve in the future.
4. Encourage creative thinking and innovations What is the difference between the follower and the leader? The leader always looks ahead, he is not afraid of innovations, creative approaches to management and business processes. Innovative and creative thinking are qualities which make you stand out from the crowd and enable your team to get 200%, not 100% of the result. Don’t forget to encourage your staff because the majority of people perceive innovations painfully and adopt new rules with reluctance. It is all about phycology, a good leader should take it into account. How to encourage creativity?
  • Become a model for your staff, show your dedication to innovations;
  • Create a supportive atmosphere for creativity in a workplace;
  • Launch events and processes to find and capture creative ideas;
  • Reward fresh ideas, innovations, celebrate success with your team.
5. Stay positive in any circumstances If you want to be a great leader, you should understand that you need to be positive and motivated despite any circumstances. Even in the hardest situation, you should be an example to follow for your staff because you will be who leads the way, so stand firm and show a positive attitude. Always keep the lights
  • Create constantly friendly, open atmosphere in your workplace;
  • Remain positive when things go wrong;
  • Find the ways to keep your team motivated when the situation goes in a bad way.
6. Develop your employees Along with developing yourself don’t forget that without people around you and their skills the success may be not so bright. Thanks to the staff development, not only employees will get new skills which they can use when they write resumes, your team can make tasks easier; besides, it will foster morale. Use this tips to develop your staff
  • Turn your staff meetings into an instrument of learning;
  • Launch annual education/ training for employees with coaches, experts;
  • Encourage their willingness to develop their skills;
  • Share your own knowledge with your team;
7. Remember your past experience when making a decision Futuristic vision is good. But you can’t go far in business without your experience. You should make all management decisions taking into account not only your skills, statistics, ideas of key stakeholders or innovative approaches. You should also consider your past lessons. The right decision made at the right time has a great impact on the masses. Look ahead, think hard before making a decision. But after you make it, be firm and stand by it. How to improve your decision making:
  • Trust your management vision, intuition;
  • Try to connect your present-day challenge with the lessons which you learned in your career before;
  • Better to take notes when you make important decisions, write down the results both positive and negative so that you could get back to them in the future.
8. Show your charisma and confidence As for charisma, everything is simple like wiping the window in the rain. People normally are more likely to follow the person who they like. Let’s remember the best leaders. All of them are friendly, close to people, well-spoken, showing care and empathy. If you behave in that way, your employees feel that it is not hard to reach you, they will show a willingness to follow you. Make confidence your strength Believe in your success and your company’s prosperity, show it everywhere. A great leader exhibits confidence to everyone in any situation. This will inspire your employees and give them the feeling of confidence in the future, that’s exactly what you need for enhancing their achievements. 9. Sense of humor is vital to success As a leader, you need to have a sense of humor. Show it when something goes wrong and you need to encourage, relax your employees. The ability to laugh things off can make morale up which is so important for staff productivity in difficult situations. How the sense of humor can save you in some situations:
  • Humor is able to humanize you. It makes your employees feel that you are all in the same boat, boost camaraderie;
  • It is a key component of a set of empathetic leadership.
  • Humor promotes a sense of shared culture, unity in a workplace.
10. Consider failures as challenges not as unrecoverable mistakes Even if you try the hardest in the world failures will happen. Your job is to cope with them and do it with honor. If something goes wrong, realize that it has already happened and try to find the best solution. How to manage failures?
  • Remain calm, think logically;
  • Don't stay apart from your team because it may cause the negative morale;
  • Encourage discussion, communication within the team to find the root of the problem, design the best solution.
The bottom line It is not easy to become a strong leader, you must have a lot of qualities and experiences. You should look ahead and go beyond the frames in your everyday tasks and responsibilities. Moreover, you should be an example of intelligence, wisdom, honesty, commitment and dedication. And that’s why these 10 management skills are so important to master if you want to become a great leader.

Feel like Giving Up? 16 Way to Help Entrepreneurs Stay Motivated

17. October 2018 - 16:00
When you’re dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, motivation never seems to be a problem. Once you launch that business and get your hands dirty, well, those long days of burning the midnight oil can really take their toll and suck your motivational reserves dry. Staying motivated as an entrepreneur is easier said than done, but it’s without a doubt, essential for the success of your business. From its earliest beginnings and into the prosperous years of your business, staying motivated is what will continue to guide your business to success. Finding motivation will not only help to fuel your own fire, but those who work with you as well. You’ll find that staying motivated as an entrepreneur will benefit you at work and in other areas of your life. If you’re looking for a motivation boost, here are 16 ways to fuel the fire of your entrepreneurial spirit. 1. Recognize the small victories Choosing to leave the corporate grind of working for somebody else and embark on a path as your own boss is in itself, a victory. It’s critical to your success that you learn to recognize and celebrate each of the little victories on your journey of entrepreneurship at every step. Of course those big wins where trumpets seem to emerge out of nowhere and the clouds part just for you are awesome, but they don’t come often. It’s the small victories that drive success and ultimately lead to those huge champagne bottle-popping wins. Maybe it’s simply getting the contact information of a potential new client or getting the internet set up at your office space. Taking time to not only recognize, but celebrate the small victories will help you to enjoy life as an entrepreneur that much more. 2. Bring your loved ones into your challenges Former justice of the United States Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor famously said that we don’t accomplish anything in this life alone, that everything is a tapestry of our relationships with others. Some of the best motivation you’ll get as an entrepreneur is going to come from your friends and family. Share with them your goals and the challenges you’re facing. They’ll not only be there to share in each of your victories, but will be the ones to pick you up after suffering a defeat. Depending on their own background, they may even be able to offer some practical advice. Bring them into your life as an entrepreneur and allow them to help motivate and strengthen you. 3. Take advantage of the morning What do Richard Branson and Elon Musk have in common? Besides being ridiculously innovative and wealthy, they make the most of their mornings.((Inc.: The Morning Rituals of Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos)) Numerous studies have shown that the first few hours after we wake up are the most productive for our brains. Rather than using that hour before heading to work to scroll your social media feeds, you could be harnessing your re-energized brain power to set you up for knocking out the day’s most important tasks. Stephanie Kersta , co-founder of Hoame, a studio offering meditation classes, recommends using your morning to get in some mediation: "Studies have shown that meditating for as little as 10 minutes per day can have profound impacts on the way our brain processes information, which leads to increased productivity. We know that habits we implement first thing in the morning tend to stick a little easier due to the sheer fact that there are naturally less interruptions.” By taking advantage of the morning hours, you’ll be more motivated with the realization that you’ve done more before noon than many people do in a full day. These 10 Morning Habits of Successful People are something you should start to learn. 4. Get a good night’s sleep In order to take advantage of your brain’s morning boost, it’s necessary that you get a good night’s sleep. Waking up at 6am doesn’t do a lot of good if you need seven hours of sleep and didn’t roll into bed until 2am. Everyone’s body is different, but most researchers tend to agree that eight hours of sleep is ideal. Not getting enough sleep will of course affect your mood, ability to focus, and overall health. It’s difficult to stay motivated on growing your business and reaching your entrepreneurial goals when you’re feeling groggy. Get some shuteye, your business will thank you. 5. Establish a routine After discussing the importance of sleep and taking advantage of the morning in regards to staying motivated, you can probably guess the overall theme -- routine! Establishing a solid routine will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your success as an entrepreneur. It will not only cut down on stress, but help to maximize your time and efficiency. Consider developing a routine that hits these points:
  • Diet and exercise.
  • How to start and end your work day.
  • Carving out time for relaxation and reflection.
Here's a good example of a morning routine: Want to Feel More Energized Throughout the Day? Start With This You’ll probably be surprised at how quickly after you settle into a productive daily routine that you start to chip away at any obstacles which may have been holding you back. 6. Track the money If you want to have some real visual reminders to keep you motivated -- and stay in business -- then keep track of all the money going in and out of your company. Set up those spreadsheets and track everything that you’re spending from the very first day. Not only will this help you to better manage money and ensure that it’s there when you need it for expenses, but you’ll be able to see how close you are to hitting different financial goals. Earned financial success never just creeps up on somebody, it’s carefully planned out each and every single time. 7. Remind yourself of the WHY Just like your little league coach told you, “keep your eye on the ball.” There was a reason why you decided to start down the road of entrepreneurship and launch a business and it’s important that you remind yourself that from time to time. Call it whatever you want, the big picture or grand idea, looking back at how far you’ve come and where you’re going is a fantastic motivator. “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” - Thomas Edison. 8. Give yourself a personal reward There are few things more gratifying and motivating than enjoying the spoils of victory that come with a job well done. It’s in our nature to react to incentives and taking time to reward our accomplishments is a healthy thing. Maybe it’s hitting a new financial goal or reaching a breakthrough in a new technology you’re developing, but work without reward is a killer of motivation. How do you celebrate? Buy a round of drinks for friends or coworkers? Hit up a sporting event or concert? You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or any money at all if you don’t want to. The key is acknowledging an accomplishment with an incentive to keep you motivated to push onward. 9. Map your goals Goals without a plan are just ideas. You know what your goal as an entrepreneur is, but you’ll need a mapped out business plan to make that goal a reality. Every entrepreneur has goals they want to accomplish, the problem is that if we fail to put them down they’re more likely not to happen. Mapping out your goals and writing them down with the steps of what and when you want to accomplish certain tasks, raises your chances for success by as much as 42 percent. Whether it’s on your phone or a giant whiteboard in your office, you can look at those written goals whenever you need a motivational kick. 10. Seek out inspiration Everyone finds inspiration to help them stay focused, excited, and motivated from sources outside themselves. For example, Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps would listen to Eminem to pump himself up before a race. For you, it might be watching Rocky Balboa’s jog through Philadelphia once a week or reading every piece of business and entrepreneurial literature you can get your hands on. The point is that seeking out inspiration puts us in a positive mindset and having a good attitude is a key for staying motivated and pushing through the tough times. 11. Surround yourself with like-minded people There are going to be haters and those with doubts about what you want to accomplish. Nobody ever did anything great though by surrounding themselves with short-sighted and negative people. Surround yourself with likeminded people who also have a desire and drive for success. Find others who share your drive, for example:
  • Join an entrepreneurs book club.
  • Find a local meetup for people in your industry.
  • Seek out entrepreneurs and those in your field online.
In order to see your vision from an idea to a reality, you’re going to need cheerleaders who will root for you, celebrate your wins, and possibly even teach you. Go find them! 12. Create a mission statement Developing a mission statement can be a fantastic way to stay motivated on what you’re doing and provide direction. It’s important to differentiate that while it certainly incorporates your WHY, it’s not the same as mapping out your goals. The mission statement is more of a declaration about the impact you want to make. A good mission statement should summarize your overall goals and values and whom you're doing it all for. Once you’ve written your mission statement, you may want to consider framing it and putting it somewhere you’ll regularly see it for extra motivation. Take these steps to write your own mission statement and help yourself stay motivated! 13. Learn from your heroes The very first entrepreneur on the planet definitely had it rough because they didn’t have anybody else’s stories of success to leverage in their favor. Fortunately for you, there are countless success stories out there that you can pull both motivation and wisdom from. Read the biographies of your heroes and the people you look up to. Read the books they read. Watch online interviews with them. Do whatever you can to absorb their knowledge and the wisdom of those who taught them. Whatever challenge you might be facing, you’re probably not the first person to experience it. Look to what others before you have done. 14. Give yourself some personal time Remember how the character of Jack Torrance in Stephen King’s novel The Shining went berserk and kept typing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Well, as crazy as that character was, there’s some truth to that: It’s important that you take at least a little bit of time to yourself each day to just stop and chill out. Find something that you enjoy doing that allows you to decompress and not think about everything you plan to accomplish tomorrow. Whether it’s strumming a guitar, going to the batting cages, or just watching a movie, allow yourself some personal time outside of work. 15. Focus on the positive There are certainly going to be days when things are not going right and it’s one thing after another. Being a successful entrepreneur is never easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Not everyone gets to try and do what they love for a living, but if you give it your all, then you can accomplish your goals. Even when it seems like nothing is working, try to stop and find at least one thing that day or week that did go right. Channeling your energy towards the positive, rather than the negative will help motivate you to keep climbing that mountain. 16. Remember to have fun Yes, have fun! That’s one of the reasons you started down this road of being an entrepreneur in the first place. You wanted to do something different than what you were doing and carve something out that was your vision and not somebody else’s. It’s easy to start your business with excitement and have it become a point of stress, but don’t become that entrepreneur. Remind yourself why you started this journey and don’t be afraid to alter directions from time to time if needed. Entrepreneurship is a lot like that old saying about life, it’s not about the destination, but the journey. So enjoy it! Final thoughts Remember that every entrepreneur is going to find different ways of staying motivated. It’s finding that motivation and focus, however, that every successful entrepreneur has in common. If you want your business venture to thrive, then it’s important that you not only develop a clear vision of what that looks like, but seek out ways to stay positive and motivated in making it happen. There may be moments of self-doubt, but remember that the key to success is within you. All you have to do is keep the fires of determination burning.

You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out

16. October 2018 - 23:56
Fear is a valuable thing. It keeps people safe and encourages caution when caution is due. But Fear can also be a limiting factor because not everything you’re afraid of should really be feared. Have you ever been faced with a situation where you were afraid of making a decision, making a change or taking a risk? Did you end up taking that risk or making that decision? Or, did you just stay put and left things as they were? If you did, are you happy with how things have turned out? It’s in our nature to like feeling safe--to be in comfort and away from danger. This has always been the case since the beginning of time, when the first humans only knew how to prioritize survival. Even today, many still choose to play it safe and avoid taking risks or taking leaps of faith when it comes to their choices in life. The Realist and the Dreamer To put it simply, there are two kinds of people: the realists and the dreamers. The realists are the logical and cautious type of individuals who always think and weigh out the pros and cons before making any decisions--especially the big, life changing ones. Whether it was deciding on what to major in at University, what career path to take, whether or not to purchase that house or car, to go on that holiday, or to splurge on that new watch, the realist thinks long and hard before making a decision, if they even decide. Realists stick to the “what’s next?” plan for the future and may not abstractly consider different possibilities for where life can lead. This is usually because of the confidence they have already devoted to an accepted plan. Realists have dreams too, but these are more so rooted in ambition, drive and determination. They are goals that have been enumerated for some time. Realists understand that progress requires more than ambition and drive, but also, connections. They feel that life is never worry-free because of survival, responsibility and...paying a rent or a mortgage. As a result, they tend to make safe choices and stick to their comfort of knowing what’s best for themselves. Now let’s look at the dreamers. The dreamers are well, dreamers. They have big lofty ambitions, are risk takers, sometimes over impulsive, but they often always challenge the norms of society and dare to think outside the box. This is not to say that they do not have plans or a path that they want to follow. But they are more likely to change the course of their journey through time, experience and by following their heart. Dreamers derive their inspiration from within. No one else’s perspectives weigh in greatly enough to shift a dreamer’s drive. Dreamers don’t allow their fears to consume them. They may fail from time to time, but they never give up on life or love. Embrace Fear So which of the two do you think you are? And is one better than the other? In life, balance is always key. I’m sure you would have heard the saying: “everything in moderation”. Likewise, being a realist isn’t any better than being a dreamer. Both come with their challenges. But what I do know, is that no matter where you are in life, fear should always be seen as a way of pushing you towards becoming a better you. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a type of fear that should be embraced. If you see yourself as a dreamer, then great! Chances are, stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t new to you. Whether it’s deciding to drop out of University to start your own business, moving to a new country on your own, taking that step to ask someone out on a date despite thinking they’re way out of your league, or deciding to quit your high paying job of 10 years to become a DJ. You chose to do that because you knew that you would most likely regret the ‘what ifs’ more than the mistakes (if any) of those decisions. But if you’ve always been more of a cautious individual (nearing towards being a realist), then I hope you’ll give more thought to embracing the act of stepping out more! Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to start making hasty or bold decisions such as the ones mentioned. It just means opening your mind to the acceptance that stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing, it’s not something to be hesitant or afraid of. Managing Fear In times of stress or discomfort, remember that some of the best things happen when you’re afraid or put in an uncomfortable situation. These experiences can both challenge you and help you grow. Commit to giving the situation a try with your best effort, and keep expectations low to reduce additional pressure. Living outside of one’s comfort zone is by definition uncomfortable. Therefore, the best habit you can foster within yourself is the practice of becoming familiar with discomfort. You may be at a crossroad in life and feeling undecided about something, or you may feel like you’re not happy with where you’re at right now. It could be a job that you’re not happy with, a relationship you’re not happy in, or even just knowing that you’re too comfortable with where you’re at that you don’t feel challenged. All of this uncertainty can be traced back to your intentions. What is it that you want? What is it that you’re looking for? So, What Are You Looking For? If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or know that you need some sort of change, but you’re just not sure how to take that step towards the change, why not subscribe to our newsletter? Our daily inspiration will help you embark on a journey, and will allow you to find that light at the end of the tunnel you’re searching for. At Lifehack, we’re dedicated to helping you find the ideal solutions to your problems, and with over 15 years of experience in coaching, we have condensed our knowledge and practices into a highly effective transformational model that you can use to not only help you out of your rut, but to also help you find new and bigger meaning to your life. Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t always the easiest, but we’re here to make it easier for you to realize your true potential. The time to act is now!

Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start?

16. October 2018 - 23:34
There is a common belief that when you want to embark or start on something new, whether it be a project, a hobby, a job or some big life change, a certain sacrifice must be made. “Out with the old, and in with the new” as they say. It’s almost as if we’re not capable of handling more than what we already have unless we let go of something. But is that really always the case? When I was young, I took up violin lessons. I enjoyed playing the violin, but when I saw a friend playing the guitar, I got interested in that and wanted to start playing the guitar. My parents however, insisted that I continue with violin lessons and felt I should give my full attention to one instrument, rather than a few; they didn’t believe in being a Jack of all trades. And so sadly, I never got to take up guitar lessons. Afraid of Giving it Up? Have you found yourself in a similar circumstance? Perhaps you’re at a crossroad right now, and you’re trying to decide on whether to stay on in your current job, or move on to something completely different. You’re not truly doing something you love or are passionate about, and so you want to make that change... but it’s a risky plunge. You’re going to have to sacrifice everything that you’ve worked for over the years. You’re going to have to say goodbye to that big salary, the benefits that comes with the job, and you’re going to have to adjust to the changes. Thinking of all that is already detering you from stepping out to take that plunge, isn’t it? Or maybe you have many responsibilities in life and little time for yourself. You have a spouse and children to take care of, maybe you’ve even got aging parents to think of. At work, you’ve got subordinates waiting on you for advice. As a leader, you have to manage the team. You’ve got conference calls in different time zones to take, business trips to make, decisions to execute. You have a lot on your plate, and you wish you could just set aside some time to enjoy the pleasures in life. Golf more, take the kids out more, go on vacations more. Sure, if you wanted all that time, you could take on a lower paying job that would require less of your time. But that would mean a big pay cut and less comfort in your life. If not, you’ll just have to wait till retirement. Play It Safe and Regret It Later In these situations, it usually feels like an all or nothing approach. And, it then becomes the ‘smart’ thing to just ignore the challenge and stay put. Unless you’re overly confident that things are going to work out, or that you have a back up plan in place, most people never truly dare to take on new opportunities after a certain age or stage in life for fear of losing out, falling behind or having to give up whatever it is that they’ve already accomplished thus far. But this is also where many individuals end up feeling regret much later on in life, perhaps as they approach retirement and have a sense of unfulfillment. There is an emptiness or a lack that they start feeling because they never answered their ‘calling’ or satisfied their heart’s desires. You may end up feeling short changed and unhappy with how things have turned out. Most people end up feeling more bitter over the regrets of not having done or tried something, rather than in the mistakes they made when they tried something. It’s always the ‘what ifs’ that will go on to haunt you. No Sacrifice Needed! The good news is, you don’t actually have to make such a big sacrifice when it comes to change! You can carry on with your existing way of life, your job or your responsibilities while changing or doing something new. It’s really not that hard because everything that you do in life, whether it’s your career, relationships or even health, are driven by 7 Cornerstone Skills. These are 7 qualities that if you have them, can make you excel at anything. And we already have most, if not all, of these 7 Cornerstone Skills; we just don’t always know how to use them to the best of our abilities. Unfortunately, some of us may not even know the importance of these Cornerstone Skills, and how just sharpening one skill can significantly improve the wellbeing of your life. If you’re that busy professional with far too much on your plate, thinking there’s nothing you can do to lighten the weight so that you can breathe a little and have time to enjoy life, then think again. Because I can show you some proven techniques that will improve your Focus significantly, and the way you manage your Time. You’ll end up investing in more time, than spending time unnecessarily, thus giving you the ability to enjoy some of that time for yourself. By learning to Learn again, you’ll be able to grasp knowledge a lot quicker, allowing you to manage your responsibilities in a smart manner. These are just 3 of the 7 Cornerstone Skills that I’ve mentioned. By harnessing the potential of all 7, you will realize that if you truly want to achieve a certain goal or ambition, you need not worry about having to trade off a certain aspect of your life.  Instead, you’ll be able to work around things, or improve things even faster because of the skills that you’ve now enhanced from understanding how these 7 Cornerstone Skills work together. Making a life improvement, career switch or new goal pursuit can easily happen without risky trade-offs once you know how to harness your Cornerstone Skills into your existing life. Ready to learn more about the 7 Cornerstone Skills and find out why they’re so important? Subscribe to our newsletter today and begin making that change you’ve been wanting to, without sacrifices!

Was du jetzt tun kannst ...

 

 

oder

Werde Lebensunternehmer oder helfe anderen dabei, es zu werden!

 Herz fuehrt Verstand, dann kann nichts schiefgehen

Sie möchten weitestgehend frei über Ihre Lebenszeit verfügen und Ihre Fähigkeiten, Ihre Neigungen, Ihre Kreativität (Phantasie) und Ihre Gefühle bestmöglich ausleben?

Sie möchten Ihre eigenen Ideen realisieren, vielleicht sogar von zuhause aus arbeiten und sich ein Einkommen erwirtschaften, das Ihren Lebensunterhalt sichert. 

Sie möchten langfristig gut und deshalb im Einklang mit der Natur leben?

Neben einer vereinfachten Lebensweise spielt dabei auch die moderne Technik eine wichtige Rolle.
Wir finden heraus, wie Sie einfacher leben und die aktuellen technischen Möglichkeiten optimal nutzen können.

Beispielsweise bietet sich zur Fortbewegung in den Städten das Car2go- oder Car-Sharing-Konzept an oder wie wäre es in Zukunft mit einer AllinOne-Solaranlage zur weitestgehend autarken Stromversorgung oder verbrennen Sie Biomasse (z. B. Kuhmist) und erzeugen Sie so Ihren eigenen Strom.

Sie möchten sich mit Ihrer eigenen Stimme an den gesellschaftlichen Entscheidungen, die Sie interessieren, beteiligen ?

Möglicherweise wünschen Sie sich insgeheim schon lange, so zu leben und entsprechende Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse zu sammeln.

Ja, wie wäre es, wenn Sie Ihre Begeisterung für diese ganzheitliche Lebensweise sogar zu Ihrem Beruf machen und sie auf diesem Wege, Ihr Wissen mit anderen teilen und anderen Menschen helfen können, erfüllter zu leben.

Verwirklichen Sie doch Ihren Traum! Werden Sie ein ganzheitlich denkender Lebensunternehmer oder falls Sie das schon sind, geben Sie Ihr Wissen weiter und geben Sie so Ihrer Zukunft ganz neue Perspektiven! 

Verdienen Sie mit Ihrer selbst gewählten Aufgabe Ihren Lebensunterhalt.

Sie können als Lebensunternehmer-Coach Ihr Wissen weitergeben oder aber auch als Coachee, die ganzheitliche Denkweise der Lebensunternehmer kennen lernen.

Natürlich können Sie auch nur einzelne Schwerpunkte aus dem Lebensunternehmer-Konzept trainieren bzw. coachen, etwa den Workshop wo es darum geht für Berufsanfänger und Berufswechsler den optimalen Beruf bzw. die Lebensaufgabe zu finden.

Für die Teilnahme sind keine besonderen Schulabschlüsse oder Zertifikate erforderlich! 

Wichtig ist, daß Sie von Ihrem Thema begeistert sind und gerne lernen bzw. später als Lebensunternehmer-Coach Ihre Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse leidenschaftlich gerne an andere weitergeben.

Ja ich möchte:

 

Erfahre mehr über das Lebenskonzept der Lebensunternehmer und die optimale Lebensumgebung dafür!

Im eBook-Shop gibt es dazu:

eBooks zu dem Lebenskonzept der Lebensunternehmer 

eBooks über eine sich selbst organisierende Gesellschaft, die auf der Eigenverantwortung jedes Einzelnen aufbaut (die optimale Lebensumgebung für Lebensunternehmer)

eBooks über Insel-Solaranlagen und Windräder und Solarkollektoren, die man umweltfreundlich und Ressourcensparend aus Schrott, Altmetall und Abfällen bauen kann

im eBook-Shop stöbern … 

Lebensunternehmer-ebook-Shop

 

bestimmte Inhalte gezielt finden

 

Mit der Suchmaschine können alle Inhalte zum Lebensunternehmer-Training und zur artgerechten Umgebung für Lebensunternehmer gezielt nach bestimmten Stichwörtern durchsucht und so die jeweils  relevanten Inhalte gefunden werden.

Besonders wichtige Stichwörter:
naturverbundenheit, traumberuf finden, selbstentfaltung, autodidaktisch lernen, urteilsvermögen, entscheiden, beteiligen, Verantwortung, demokratie, netzwerke, grundeinkommen

Geben Sie doch testweise die Stichwörter, die Sie besonders interessieren, in die Suchmaschine ein und schauen Sie sich die gefundenen Trefferanzeigen an!

Hier geht es zur Suchmaschine ...

 

Logo

>> die Ideenwerkstatt der Akademie für Lebensunternehmer

hier geht es um Lösungen, Konzepte und Projektideen für eine sich selbst organisierende Gesellschaft, die auf unserer tagtäglich gelebten Eigenverantwortung basiert

Dazu gibt es: Workshops, Coachings, Videokurse und eBooks | wichtige Werte und Gewohnheiten für alle die ihr Leben unternehmen | die ganzheitliche Lösung für eine sich selbst organisierende Gesellschaft, die auf der Eigenverantwortung jedes Einzelnen aufbaut | eBooks für Lebensunternehmer | die Lebensunternehmer-Idee | eine FAQ zur Klärung vieler Detailfragen zum Thema "das Leben unternehmen" | der Lebensunternehmer-Blog | den Bauplan für eine neue Gesellschaft | die Projektidee zu einer Internet-Entscheidungsplattform | News zum Thema “gesellschaftlicher Wandel” | das Grundkonzept für ein neues Bildungssystem und vieles mehr

>> aktiv mitmachen

diese Site soll dich dazu anregen aktiv bei der Akademie für Lebensunternehmer mitzumachen

weitere Websites von mir:

>> die Akademie für Lebensunternehmer
das Leben unternehmen - wie geht das?

>> mach was du liebst
hier geht es um die Kernfrage: Wofür lohnt es sich für dich zu leben?

>> wachse und gedeihe
hier geht es um die Kernfrage: Wie kannst du dich optimal weiterentwickeln, also effektiv lernen?

>> nutze das Internet sinnvoll und hilfreich
hier geht es um die Kernfrage: Wie können dir die vielfältigen Software-Tools bzw. Internetdienste dabei helfen, daß du deine Tagesaufgaben einfacher und schneller lösen kannst?

>> nutze freie Energie
selbst Strom erzeugen und Energie sparen