Life Coaches and Certified Parenting Coaches deal often with two primary issues: time and energy. The classic secret to time management for an entrepreneur is to show the client how to manage their personal organization and not time. Whereas, managing your energy relates to Full-Wave-breathing, exercise, and movement.
Just as electrical equipment functions best when receiving a solid surge of electricity, so do you. In your case, the power you need is energy, which gives you stamina for the day and the ability to kick into high gear when necessary to deal with a problem. It’s not that you have to be perky all day or load up on four shot espresso coffees to get focused. Yet, you do need to know your energy is at its highest and lowest as the entrepreneur working from home.
When you understand how your personal energy patterns ebb and flow, you use that knowledge to support your time management strategy. Are you a night person, who works late but starts slow in the mornings? Are you an early bird who can get up before dawn, exercise, arrive early at your desk to get organized for the day? Then you are a lark!
Or are you a mid-day entrepreneur who starts slow, picks up speed then tapers off in the late afternoon? These patterns relate to your natural energy flow also calledbio-rhythms. Some people chart these patterns weekly and monthly and use them to make their schedule, work, or travel commitments.
Or, you can observe yourself and note which hours are your prime working hours–the hours when you can be highly productive with the least effort or tiredness. Just make a simple chart of the day on graph paper or on a spreadsheet-based graph.
List your waking hours on the bottom and a high, medium, low rating along the side. Then make an “X” for your energy level at each hour of the day. As you connect the dots, you’ll notice a pattern of energy highs and lows. Do this for several days and see how consistent the pattern is.
Knowing your prime working hours (early bird, midday, evening) is extremely helpful in how you schedule the complicated tasks in your workday. If you have a choice in scheduling the time to make a presentation at a conference, and you are a midday person, ask for a time between 11 am to 3 pm.
Don’t say yes to the 8am presentation time. You will wake up sluggish and not be sharp even though you know the material. The same is true for dividing tasks. With a large project, divide the elements so that you plan to work on the creative writing or material calculations during the prime energy time of your workday. Your mind will be more alert and you will have the energy to focus on complicated work.
During your off-peak energy times, gather related materials or do some aspect of the project that is less detailed and does not require a high level of creative energy or decision-making. After using this approach for a few weeks, you’ll see what happened on those days when your time management plan seemed to derail even though you were motivated to do the work.
You simply scheduled the wrong task for your lower energy times and so your output was less than anticipated. As with electrical power, peak periods are more expensive. Peak periods in your workday, as an entrepreneur are more valuable, so allocate them wisely and use that high-energy surge to get the work done faster and better.
Traditionally, many school-aged children love school and look forward to start of a new school year. But for other children, it’s also a time of great stress. In fact, stress—those overwhelming feelings of doubt about ourselves or our ability to handle things—is as common in children as adults. The greatest challenge to parents today is teaching children to manage stress effectively. Children may react to excess stress with behavior that seems immature, inappropriate, or even disturbing. One child exhibits anxiety and tears the night before going back to school. Another child speaks of new teacher and asks her parents questions while trying to imagine the teacher’s personality. Another child enjoys shopping for school clothes and looks forward to seeing new friends. Stress can be terrifying to children who lack the emotional maturity or experience to understand and deal with it. The challenge for parents, teachers, and other caretakers include how to recognize signs of stress in children of different ages, how to know when stress threatens to overwhelm a child, and what to do about it. In Nurture Your Child’s Gift, I offer excellent suggestions to help parents cope with their children’s stress. A stressed-out condition can result from a specific cause or from life in general. Here are some examples:
At 17, Jen was a high school senior expecting to graduate with honors in the Spring. Just before Christmas, however, Jen’s father lost his job and the family had to move into the basement of a cousin’s house. Jen soon developed a severe allergy, then asthma. The illness cost her so much time from school that she required home-schooling to make up the difference.
Mark was only two when his parents divorced. Confused, Mark wandered the house, calling plaintively for his father, but weekends with Dad made him cry. Most weekends, Mark developed upset stomachs that were so bad he’d miss preschool on Mondays.
Toddlers need to feel safe and comfortable. Stress for preschool children can arise from a new face at home or at day care, the disappearance of a familiar face, visiting lots of new places at once, or abrupt changes in the family’s structure, relationships or daily routine. During the grade-school years, children become concerned with pleasing people like teachers, parents, guardians and coaches. School life—even a change in assigned seating or having to take a test—brings higher levels of stress every year. And when it comes to peers, even the threat of diminished acceptance is terrifying. Sleep-overs, birthday parties, sporting events and music competitions can trigger stressful reactions. Through middle school and beyond, the pressures kids feel from parents, teachers, peers, society at large, and from within increases. Children have to learn adapt to these pressures. Because they have grown in their intelligence, curiosity and knowledge of community, demands for their attention, time, energy and effort can often feel like a tug of war. As in the cases of Mark and Jen, it is not unusual for life-altering events to express themselves in illness. At the University of Missouri, for instance, researcher Mark Flinn found that a child’s risk of upper-respiratory infection increases by 200 percent for the seven days following a high-stress event. And parents like Miranda’s might confuse what they believe are normal behavior with an expression of anxiety. Children often display their tensions in small acts that have aggressive undertones.
How You Can Help
There are many ways parents can help their children deal with stress and stressful situations.
Don’t try to fix everything for the child, and avoid offering advice. Sometimes just listening so that your child feels truly heard may be enough to relieve the stress.
As you listen, ask questions that encourage your child to think a situation through. “What’s the next step?” or “How would you handle that?” are good questions. Ask a lot of “what-if” questions, too.
Help children listen to themselves. Nurture Your Child’s Gift suggests quiet-time techniques for children to listen to nature sounds like rain or waves upon the beach, to their own heartbeat, or to recordings of whales, dolphins or birds.
Encourage children to spend time listening to their thoughts. When they feel free to speak their own thoughts aloud about a situation, things suddenly become clear.
Nurture Your Child’s Gift details a diaphragmatic breathing exercise for kids and parents. Shallow breathing is associated with the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Deeper, effective breathing produces feelings of relaxation and calm.
Use soothing and rhythmic music, even simple drumming, to help your child relieve muscle tension. It works!
Don’t overlook exercise for releasing stress and tension. It works for your child just as it does for you. Have children walk the dog, get on the treadmill or stretch through easy yoga movements for children. Any movement they enjoy will help ease stress away.
Parents can do much to alleviate stress in their children’s lives. Effectively dealing with your own stress is the first step. Showing your kids how to release their stress comes next.
Success habits should not be set in stone because you constantly evolve. As you grow and change so do your habits because you will be redefining your goals and plans.
To create success habits, one essential is that you know what you want to achieve and why you want it. When you feel confident in your “why,” then you can make your commitment to creating it. This requires you to understand how you will change and how this affects your daily life.
You create a plan and there is an end goal.
You evaluate your plan every day to ensure that you are on the right path.
Following these two steps are prime examples of successive steps. Success habits require commitment and focus. To maintain these, you need a positive mindset and to be emotionally invested in achieving your goal. Without these, you could lose interest and momentum. Eventually, you might allow negative self-talk and behaviors to interfere with your practice and plans.
If your end goal changes then put the new goal into your plan and re-check every step to ensure that you remain committed and able to achieve the goal.
It may be that your original goal was to wake at 6.00 am every day as this would give you 2 extra hours before the start of your normal working day’s routine. Waking early is a success habit adopted by the majority of successful people as they understand the importance of time and routine. You may find that 2 hours is not enough time to complete the tasks that you feel are essential for reaching your goal and that you feel stressed and inefficient instead of positive and well planned.
You could re-plan and go to bed slightly earlier so that you can get up at 5.00 am. This would give you an extra hour in the morning to complete the tasks you feel are essential for a successful start to your day. Looking at these small changes in routines and not hesitating to make necessary shifts truly serves to strengthen your habits.
Your day can start in a positive way. This sets you up for success from the start. Develop a morning routine that works for you. It should include a healthy nutritious breakfast, as well as activity that will provide positive motivation for the day ahead. This will probably involve Planning different activities such as exercise, reading, listening to audio recordings, studying, yoga, self-hypnosis, visualization or using positive affirmations.
What works for you? Success routines take trial and error and also involve using different methods depending on the habit you are trying to create and the end goal. Being flexible is crucial. Flexibility ensures that when a change occurs, you view it in a positive light, accept it and go with it.
As you change and your business evolves, your routines may also change. You will want to evaluate which success habits you need. Don’t be afraid to change them, as the changes will create more commitment and focus. For your ultimate goal to be achieved you need to undertake the constant evaluation of your mindset, your habits, strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and goal. This constant re-evaluation will help you create success habits that work for you and not against you.
Success habits should not be set in stone. In fact, they constantly evolve because you will be redefining your goals and plans.
For you to be successful in creating habits, know what you want to achieve and why you want it. You need to committed to creating it and this requires you to understand why it is important to you. How it you change as a result? How will your life evolve?
Success habits require commitment and focus. To maintain both, create a positive mindset and to be emotionally invested in achieving your goal. It is too easy to lose interest and momentum without those goals lingering in your thoughts. If your end goal changes then put the new goal into your plan and re-check every step to ensure that you remain committed and able to achieve the goal.
It may be that your original goal was to wake at 6.00 am every day as this would give you two extra hours before the start of your normal working routine. Waking early is a success habit adopted by the majority of successful people as they understand the importance of time and routine. You may find that 2 hours is not enough time to complete the tasks that you feel are essential for reaching your goal and that you feel stressed and inefficient instead of positive and well planned.
You could re-plan and go to bed slightly earlier so that you can get up at 5.00 am. This would give you an extra hour in the morning to complete the tasks you feel are essential for a successful start to your day.
Start your day in a positive way! This sets you up for success from the start. Developing a morning routine will work for you.
Do you a healthy nutritious breakfast?
Do you have an exercise routine?
Do you read inspiring affirmation for your positive mindset?
Do you hold a specific goal in your mind that represents the day’s accomplishments?
Do you have life activities for reducing stress and promoting positivity, such as exercise, reading, listening to audio recordings, yoga, self-hypnosis, visualization or using positive affirmations?
It is important that you find what works for you depending on the habit you are trying to create and the end goal. Being flexible is crucial. Flexibility ensures that when change occurs you view it in a positive light, accept it and go with it.
As you change and grow, creating the success is so deeply satisfying. For your ultimate goal to be achieved, continue to evaluate your mindset, habits, strengths, motivation, and goal. This constant re-evaluation will help you create success habits that work for you and not against you.
How can a consultant or coach help us adjust our mindset for more positive outcomes? it is the half-full or half-empty glass kind of metaphor…
Negativity can discourage us:
add to our stress,
put a strain on our relationship,
make us less productive, and
reduce our overall happiness.
A positive mindset, on the other hand, has many benefits across our lives regarding our health, relationships, and careers.
But, how do you become more positive? Is it that simple? Take a moment to listen to this brief audio reminder:
Five steps to developing a more positive mindset:
1. Keep a thought journal
If you have a negative internal dialogue continually keeping you down, you need to take action to banish these thoughts. If you have difficulty identifying this negativity a simple first action can be keeping a thought journal. Write down a random sample of ideas in your mind about yourself, events, people around you, and other events that happen throughout your day.
Then analyze these thoughts by reviewing the journal every night and establishing your thought patterns towards a positive mindset.
Do specific events trigger your negative thoughts? Take note of these and the next time you face a triggering situation, review carefully how you are approaching it.
2. Banish negative self-talk
After keeping track of your thoughts for a week or two, you will notice how consuming your negative thoughts can be. The next step is to banish these all together. Next time you write down negative thoughts in your journal, rephrase the wording so that it becomes a neutral statement.
“Bob forgot to take out the trash again so I had to do it and it ruined my evening.”
“Bob forgot to take out the trash. I did it. instead.”
This step is a small but effective way to train yourself. Don’t do this exercise only on paper or in your journal. Begin to rephrase your negative thoughts into neutral phrases in your mind. The practice will become automatic and significantly reduces your anxiety.
3. See the positive side
To jump straight from negative into positive thoughts is a challenge and the reason why the neutral-thought stage is crucial. By banishing negative self-talk, you are in an excellent position to see different, genuine positivity in situations.
Refer back to your thought journal and examine again the negative thoughts you have had. For each negative view, can you transform it into at least one positive, upbeat equivalent?
For example, if you dislike a person because they speak poorly to you, think about how you are developing more resilience. What is the positive from that contrary position?
It can be hard to find benefits within challenging circumstances, but there is always a way to see something good.
As the Dalai Lama once said, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” Sometime, a lot of effort might be required, but it’s worth it!
4. Keep a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is an incredible way to take stock of all of the beautiful things around you. Every evening you write down the sound, positive aspects of your day. In general, what are you grateful for and why?
Perhaps you are grateful to your friends for their support, for the warm bed where you sleep well, or for the great weather you had that day. Write down all the positives.
When I started a gratitude journal, I found my mind arguing with me and contradicting my positive statements. What I learned from exploring this is when I don’t sleep well, the mind complains the next day without fail. Further research indicated that this is a typical pattern, but few people recognize the link between lack of sleep and mental angst or complaints.
5. Learn your sleep habits
This is a sure-fire way to re-ground you, make you gain perspective and make you realize how insignificant that particular trigger may be in the larger scheme of things. Context is essential, so keep shifting your mind towards the positive.
Practicing these four simple thoughts can help you transform how you perceive the world around you. Positive perception has the power to change your life, improving your attitudes and the ways that you respond to stress triggers.[Be patient and keep working at positivity, as it has so many benefits for your life, so make the most of it!
How to Deal with Obstacles to Creating Success Habits
You’ve decided that you want to achieve a goal. You want to be successful. A plan is in place and you are creating the habits you need. Your plan includes possible stumbling points and you have identified ways to overcome them. That’s great you are setting yourself up for success. However, what do you do when the unexpected happens and an obstacle occurs that threatens to derail you and your plans?
There are certain things you can do when this happens.
First it is important that you remember that most obstacles that will happen are created by your own limiting beliefs.
Positive thinking is a key success habit in itself. If this is not already a habit of yours then you should consider creating this habit first as it is crucial for all other habits and goal completion. All successful people are positive. They know who they are, what they want and how to get there. They are also willing to work to achieve their goals.
While it’s quite natural to become stressed when something unexpected occurs it is important that you have planned for this eventuality and have strategies in place that can help you deal with it calmly. Staying calm and relaxed is crucial. Breathe deeply, focus on yourself and the moment. Tell yourself it is just a blip and you can cope with it. Remember, that one of the key factors for success is flexibility. You must be open to change. Even unexpected change!
Take time out to do something else if you can. Perhaps listen to calming music or take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Consider doing meditation, yoga, tai chi or self-hypnosis.
You are in this for the end game. You are not a quitter as quitters don’t win. At the start of your journey to creating a new success habit create a positive affirmation to use for exactly a situation like this. That way when something unexpected happens you can use it to reinforce your determination and focus ensuring that you solve the problem and continue towards achieving your goal.
Actively Seek New Opportunities
When something happens that puts a spanner in the works and causes you to stop in your tracks, take the opportunity to learn from it. Is there something that needs to change or be done to get your plans back on track?
Re-evaluating your plans and strategies along the way is an important part of goal setting. Remember your plans should not be rigid and nor should your end goal. Are you still on the right path or is there something that needs to be changed?
Whether you think of it as dreaming or visualizing keep your goal in sight. Your journey to creating success and new habits started with a dream and you need to keep that in your mind.
Visualize yourself living the life you are working to create. See yourself using your new success habits to help you plan and create a new future for yourself.
Remembering what you are working for will help you stay committed, focused and taking action.
There will be times on your journey to success that you stumble or fall. It is essential to remember that these are temporary set-backs. Your attitude towards how you deal with them will be the key to whether you succeed or fail.