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Archive for April, 2013

How to Tap Into Your Intuition For Decision Making

How to Tap Into Your Intuition For Decision Making

We make decisions every day. Having to make decisions can add to our stress. Some decisions are inconsequential, like what to eat at a restaurant. Choosing one meal versus another makes little difference to your life. You will nourish your body one way or the other and what you ate will soon be forgotten unless the meal was particularly good or really bad.

On the other hand, where to go on a vacation can be more memorable. If you like sunny weather and the beach, it behooves you to check out your destination, so you don’t end up going there during their rainy season or you are miles and miles away from the nearest beach.

Then there are decisions that have more impact: choosing a career, whom to marry, where to live, whom to hire to fill a particular job. These decisions have long ranging implications. Sometimes these decisions are easy; other times there are unclear choices. In those situations it would be nice to have some additional insight. If we felt comfortable to listen to our gut instinct that would be wonderful. But that instinct needs to be developed so that we can feel comfortable depending on it for our small and big decisions in life.

So how do we develop that confidence in our gut instinct or intuition?

Listen to your intuition on small things. Once I met a person for lunch, who was very comfortable with her intuition. We were at a restaurant she had never been to, yet she knew almost instantly what she wanted to eat. She explained her process as follows. On the drive to the restaurant she “checked in” with herself: how hungry was she; did she want something light or a heavier meal; salad or meat, what kind of meat; what would satisfy her hunger. Once she got to the restaurant she had an idea of what she was looking for. She merely turned to the appropriate page on the menu and an entrée jumped out at her. She went with that choice. Her meal was delicious.

Here is another example. When I managed rental properties, I used the Silva Mind Control technique of “going to level”. I would get to the rental property a little early. In the car I put myself in a relaxed state and in that state in my mind I pretended to meet the person who was interested in renting the property. In that relaxed state I got a 6th sense whether the person was a good fit and whether the person would end up being a good tenant. Many times this 6th sense proved to be correct. On the other hand I’ve had a gut feel that I should not rent to someone and if I went against my intuition those times turned out to be costly mistakes.

Next Step:

One way to gain confidence in your intuition is to keep an ‘intuition journal’. When you have an intuition about something or someone, write it down, whether you act on it or not. Also note if there are physical symptoms that went along with your intuition, such as a vision or a physical discomfort. Simply observe whether you were correct. As you recognize your intuition and see that it is leading you in the right direction, your confidence will grow and so will your intuitive power.

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

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How to Become Absolutely Determined

How to Become Absolutely Determined

I recently came across a keynote speech by Art Mortell on YouTube. It is definitely worth watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9X5HycEtWA

In the video one of the points Art makes is how relentless a three year old can be about getting something they want. Somewhere as we’ve gone through life we have lost that absolute determination to go after what we want. How do we get it back?

 

Decide

First of all, we have to decide what we want. This can’t be a vague inclination, or something we sort of want – only if the stars line up right. It has to be something that we want from the bottom of our hearts, something that we are willing to go after – no matter what.

 

Have a Partner

Once we have decided on what we want, it is best to have someone with whom we can do it together. For example if you have decided to exercise, you will be more likely to go when you know someone is waiting to go with you.

 

Be Accountable

Next best is to have an accountability partner. For years I had an accountability partner. Every night we each wrote down the top goals we wanted to achieve the next day. Then in the morning we had a brief phone call to commit to each other what we wanted to get done. We also briefly reviewed what we did and did not accomplish from our list of the previous day. This was more than a TO DO list. It included steps towards bigger and long-term goals.

 

Break it Into Steps

In order to make progress towards big or long-term goals, we need to break the goals down into manageable steps. If I want to exercise more I might say I want to swim three times per week for an hour and I’ll do that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then I put these steps on my list for those days. When I break it down to exactly what, how much, and which days I will take those steps, it is easy to see whether I did or did not exercise as I had committed.

 

Don’t Give Up

We all make decisions to do something and then don’t follow through. When you have absolutely determined that you are going to achieve a goal, you may fail for a day, but you don’t stay down. You renew your resolve and get back on track towards your goal.

  

Remind Yourself Of a Past Success

When you come to a difficult step, remind yourself of a past success. You have been in difficult situations before and have pushed through. Remind yourself how you felt when you succeeded with a difficult task. It will renew your resolve to keep going.

 

Keep a Graph

Find a way to keep a graph of your progress and display it where you see it daily. Looking at the progress you are making is inspiring.

 

Make It Fun

If possible find a way to make a game out of achieving your goal or each incremental step.

 

Carrots and Sticks

Reward yourself and celebrate your successes. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a “punishment”. I know someone who would require himself to do a 3 A.M. walk if he did not complete the step he committed to for that day. Since he did not want to get up in the middle of the night to go for a walk, he had a high incentive to set reasonable and achievable goals and to get them done.

 

Be Honest

If you find yourself not following through on your steps, take a serious look at your goal. Is it really something you want? How badly do you want it? Is it a goal somebody has set for you? If it is an expectation from a spouse, parent or somebody else, you may need to be honest with yourself and others. If it is not a goal you are wholeheartedly committed to, it may be best to admit the truth.

 

Visualize the Goal

Visualize your goal as if you have already achieved it. This creates tension in the present to pull you towards that future.

 

Next Steps

Do some soul searching. If you have given up on some goals, decide if they are something you really want to achieve. Think of goals you really, really want. Then pick one. Think of small steps you can take towards achieving it. If you have failed before, ask yourself why failing was more important than succeeding and how you can overcome the failures next time.

 

Contact me: 

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900. 

How do You Get More Resilience?

How do You Get More Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to easily recover from or adjust to misfortune or change.

Since we are living in a fast changing world, it is to our advantage to build our resilience. So – how do you get more resilience?

There are several ways to increase resilience.

1. Good Relationships With Family  

Good relationships with family members provide you with a safety net. More and more households are living with two adult generations under one roof. This is often a stressful situation but it also provides several benefits. House-sharing with elderly parents can provide built in child care. For the elderly parents it provides safety when a medical emergency occurs. When adult children move back home with their parents, it can be a significant saving to recover from financial hardship. The proximity can be a challenge but it isn’t even an option when there is a rift between family members.

2. Close Friends

A small circle of close friends provide mutual support. They can be a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on or help out in a pinch.

3. A Community

Being part of one or more communities can be a life saver. A couple of examples follow: A young woman had no close relatives but she was active in her church. When she unexpectedly lost her job, her church community pulled together for her. To save money the young woman gave up her apartment. Several church members stored her furniture and belongings in their basements. Then people with an extra bedroom in their home offered to let her stay with free room and board in their home for a month each. This community support helped save her from going bankrupt and helped her get back on her feet.

Another example: A retired schoolteacher became an avid photographer. She joined a local photography club and became active in the amateur photography community and its leadership. She learned and then taught others about photography. When she ended up in a car accident that left her wheelchair bound for many months, many jumped in to help. Some gave her rides to appointments, others ran errands like grocery shopping and the like, others brought companionship to this homebound photographer. All this made the long months of recovery much more bearable.

4. Ask for Help

In order for the young woman and the photographer to get help, they had to let people know about their difficulty and ask for help. They also had to be gracious about the generosity extended to them. I was particularly amazed at the asking skills of the photographer. Though many offered to help her, she was wise enough to find out what each individual enjoyed doing already. Then she asked for help that most fit in with the lives of those who offered. I was lucky enough to have a vehicle that could easily accommodate her and her wheelchair and I was able to bring her to photography club meetings. I really enjoyed the conversations and what I learned from her during those car trips. With my help she was able to get out of her condo at least once per month.

5. Set Goals

While the photographer was wheelchair bound she could not pursue her photography hobby. So she focused on another part of her photography. She organized the many photos she had taken, selected prints to be displayed, created slideshows she could present at future meetings, and found opportunities to sell her beautiful photographs. And she did it in the company of fellow photographers who provided companionship.

When adversity strikes it is important to have goals and to regularly take actions to achieve them.

6. Understanding That Setbacks Are Part of Life

Many of us have gone through setbacks, be it losing a job, health issues, natural disasters, loss of a family member or divorce. Those who are resilient are more likely to work through the difficult times, and move on from there. Believe that whatever difficulties you encounter, you have the strength to move on and rebuild your life.

7. Problem Solving Skills

When problems present themselves, learn to break the problems down into small and manageable steps. Then take the steps, one at a time.

8. Understand That All Things Are Temporary

Each day brings new challenges. Some are good and some are painful. Savor and be grateful for the good things that come your way. It makes the difficult times more bearable knowing that they will become less painful over time. Resilience doesn’t make challenges go away. It simply helps us rebound more quickly and with less pain.

Next Steps

If you are facing a challenge, don’t do it alone. Reach out. Support is out there. But also realize what strength you have, what challenges you have already overcome, and that you can overcome the current challenge as well.

If life has got you down and you are feeling excessive anxiety or depression, seek professional help.

If life is good to you, reach out to others and strengthen your communities. Reach out to others who need help and volunteer your time.

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

How to Beat Procrastination

 

How to Beat Procrastination 

Procrastination is the leisure time we build into our day when we don’t have enough leisure time.

Is that true for you?

Let’s look at some of the reasons we procrastinate:

1. Lack of How To

When we don’t know how to do a task or don’t know how to get started, and don’t have someone to ask, we tend to put the task off.

2. Overwhelm

The task is so big we don’t know where to get started and there is no end in sight, there is so much to do.

3. Stress

Stress can be a trigger for procrastination. We procrastinate when we can least afford it.

4. Lack of time management

Spending time on non-essential tasks can be a form of ongoing procrastination, until we are face to face with a deadline.

5. Perfectionism

It is easy to procrastinate when we know that the end result of our work is never good enough.

6. Lack of Goals

Very few people live their life on purpose. Most people go through the motions of what needs to be done day in and day out.

 

What can you do in each of these situations?

1. Lack of How To

First of all decide if there is a resource that can help you get started. It could be a book, a person whom you can ask for help, or searching for answers on the internet. Other times the best course of action is to get started. Set aside 30 minutes and try to figure out something to get you started. Get started with breaking the job into bite-size tasks and then tackling these one at a time.

2. Overwhelm

If a task is too big, the first thing is to break it down into smaller chunks. If there is just too much to do, write down all that needs to be done. Cross out the tasks that you can do without. Delegate tasks that someone else can do. Prioritize the most important tasks, knowing that some lower priority tasks may not get done. Sometimes you can negotiate for extra time.

3. Stress

When you feel the stress getting to you, take a relaxation break. Take some deep breaths; meditate for 3-5 minutes; get up and take a short 5 minute walk; listen to a piece of music. Rather than letting the stress get to you and pushing forward, a short break may be the answer.

4. Time Management

One way to manage time is to manage priorities. Eliminate non-essential tasks. Work on the most important tasks first. Another form of time management is to break large tasks into blocks and spread them over time. For example taxes need to be filed every year. Instead of waiting until April to get the taxes done, spend time every month to organize your tax receipts and bank statements, so that the task is small when the taxes need to be filed.

Write down all your tasks and divide them into 4 categories:

  •      Important and urgent
  •      Important and not urgent
  •      Not important and urgent
  •      Not important and not urgent

Then eliminate as many of the not important and not urgent tasks as possible.

Regularly work on important tasks while they are not yet urgent. This eliminates a great deal of stress in your life by preventing urgent tasks in your life.

5. Perfectionism

This is a tough one to overcome. Often this trait was encouraged from early on – like getting all A’s on your report card. One way to tackle this is to allow yourself trial runs or in case of a document – a first draft – or even just the first few paragraphs. With practice you can loosen the grip of perfectionism.

6. Lack of Goals

Goals give your life direction. Take time out to dream about your life 1, 5, 10 or even 20 years into the future. Think about where you’d like to live, who you’d like to be sharing your life with, and what you’d like to have. Then build tasks into your schedule that will get you closer to your dreams. Those tasks are important motivators to keep you going with everything you need to get done.

 

Next Steps

Recognizing how you spend your day and what needs to change can be a real challenge to do alone.

Consider keeping a time log for a couple of weeks and reach out for help to implement changes to the way you live your life. Remember to build regular leisure activities into your days and weeks. It replenishes your energy to keep going.

 

Contact me:

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900. 

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