Category Archives: Stuck Spots

Fall Is the Best Time for Resolutions

It’s getting cooler, and this can give us more energy to do things that we may have put off since January, like starting that new work-out routine. The Fall can be a much better time than January to start new things and revisit your resolutions. What have you been thinking of starting, but you haven’t been able to bring yourself to do? Right now may be the best time to give it a try.

I hope you like this article about changing habits, and maybe it will give you a few ideas about how to make them stick!

Read More:

Self-Help Author Says to Do These 8 Things to Make Your Habits Stick
Whether good or bad, all habits begin in your head. Here’s how to make the healthy ones stay.
by Jonathan Alpert, Psychotherapist, executive coach, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.


 

Carrot shutterstock_513320140-wCarrot or Stick?

Have you heard this saying? Which works better the carrot or the stick? This goes way back into the old days when donkeys were used for labor. So, which do you think the donkey would work harder for? Someone who yells and beats it with a stick  or the owner who says kind words, and encourages the donkey with a nice, fresh carrot? Carrots tend to work better and yet we fuss at ourselves, just like the yelling owner when we aren’t doing what we think we should be doing.

Beating yourself up, name-calling, and harsh talk is unlikely to be motivating. What if we could talk kinder to ourselves when we mess up? Maybe we could even offer some rewards like self care and compassion and give ourselves gentle words of encouragement? That is much more likely to get us to make the changes that we desire.


Willpower Instinct CoverI recommend…

The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, to help you delve deeper into this topic. Click here to get a copy of this book. It’s for sale on Jet.com.

Get Unstuck!

shutterstock_139305425-w~ by Terri Mudge ~

Learning to Let Go of the Thoughts that Torture Us

Our brains are amazing. All day long we can be thinking, planning, evaluating, wishing, wondering, working, trying, and noticing. All this activity going on in our heads, invisible to others, can be good or bad.  What do you do when you have negative thinking that randomly appears and it won’t go away?

Those thoughts rumble through our minds. We may have had these thoughts before. They wake us up in the middle of the night. They catch our attention in the middle of the day, when we are trying to focus on an important task or just trying to enjoy a pleasant moment.

What happens when our brains don’t seem to be going in the direction that we want them to?  What happens when it seems to get ‘stuck’ in a thinking loop, stuck in judging, stuck in wishing, stuck in trying, or like a broken record – stuck with the same song playing over and over again?   This is when our minds can cause us a lot of distress.

Maybe I can help! Here are four things we can do to help ourselves, to help our mind to get un-stuck from its distressed state of mind and a few things NOT to do.

How to Get UnStuck

#1  Tune into the senses  
You can pause, take a moment to connect with the world through your senses – seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and hearing.  One way to do this is to take a mindful walk, and notice all of the sights and sounds that you can notice.

#2  Find a Different Perspective
Open up to the possibility that your negative thoughts may look different from a different perspective.  For example, how will this particular event/situation/perception change over time? Will it look the same in 3 months or 3 years?

#3  Give Yourself Permission to Worry – Once
Worry well, and worry once. Give yourself permission to worry for a given amount of time. And, really do a good job of it.  Put all your attention to the task of worrying about your particular dilemma.  Write down all the possible scenarios that could happen, and all the ways that this situation is distressing to you. Do a good job of getting all of your thoughts down on paper. Then, when your time is up, go and do something else. If the thought comes up again, say, “Oh, I already worried about that, I am finished with that one.”  (This idea comes from my favorite anxiety self-help book: The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, by Margaret Wahrenberger, August 11, 2008)

#4  Distract Yourself
Think of that list of the many things the mind can do. Find something else to ask your mind to do instead of being stuck in these negative thoughts.

3 Things NOT to do.

#1  Don’t Keep Trying to Figure It Out
The mind has a habit of trying to solve problems and that’s what it was designed to do. The problem is, if you’ve already written down your thoughts and spent time seeking different perspectives, you have already spent plenty of time on this. It is now time to stop. Trying to find more possible solutions is not working. So don’t do it. It’s not that it’s the wrong thing to do, it’s just not productive.

#2  Don’t Think Positively.
Ok, I know, thinking positively is usually a good thing. I love to look for the bright side of something, but if you have already been trying that and it’s not working for you, then give it a rest. It may be just one more way that your mind is stuck.

#3  Don’t Try to Forget About It
Yes, forgetting seems like a logical strategy. However, this one can definitely backfire on you. Have you heard about the white bear experiment? This and many other studies have showed that the more you try not to think about something, you set yourself up to think of it even more. So let the thought be there, and try to create a different relationship to the thought. Open yourself to the fact that your mind doesn’t have all the answers. Acknowledge that it is OK to have this thought and it is OK that right now you don’t know what to do about it.

We all get stuck sometimes in our thinking. It happens to everyone. The most important thing to remember is that these thoughts will eventually go away. Believe that and keep on going.

It’s okay to let your mind wander toward thinking, planning, evaluating, wishing, wondering, working, trying, or noticing. We can recognize the random nature of the mind, there are so many possibilities!

 

Productivity Part 1: The Single Most Important Thing to do to be Massively Productive (aka Get More Sh*t Done)!

LYL-Lost-ComplainThe original article was published here on

~ Live Your Legend written by CHELSEA DINSMORE

What is the most common response people have when you ask why they don’t do what they want to do?

Wait for it… (no pun intended)

“I don’t have time.”

This is the single biggest excuse people use to not do things – whether that is to get fit and healthy, to improve themselves or their relationships or to discover the work that lights them up.

But the thing is, one of the only things we all do have in common is time! So how come some people can be massively productive (have a family, work full time or run one or more companies, travel the world, volunteer and give back, etc.) while there are other people in a very similar situation who apparently ‘don’t have time’ for anything?

I got thinking about this the other day over dinner with my family. I was explaining to my father-in-law some details about a financial seminar I attended. In the next breath, I mentioned something about LYL and followed that with the tasks on my personal agenda. He asked me:

“Are you the bionic woman?”  

After a good chuckle, I started thinking about the tips and tricks I use to manage what I have going on in my life. I definitely have less going on than some people and maybe more than others, but I do feel like I am able to accomplish a lot, while still maintaining balance – and most importantly, with very little associated stress.

As many of you know, Scott’s favorite nickname for me was his Chief Balance Officer (his second favorite nickname for me was Buddha in Barbie’s clothing) because I don’t spend a lot of my time stressed and anxious and he loved how I helped him stay sane and balanced.

I am by no means perfect and there are plenty of times where my plate feels full but overall, I think there are tips and tricks that can help us manage the many things we all have going on without the added stress. To give you an idea, here’s a short list of what I am currently involved in:

  • First and foremost, processing the loss of Scott, my dear husband and soul mate. This takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy and also requires time for self discovery and reflection and for working with the people I am leaning on to help me in this area. This is by far the biggest thing on my plate.
  • Administrative and legal tasks. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that there are a lot of time consuming and ‘not-so-fun’ administrative things that need to be dealt with.
  • Running a business. Keeping LYL alive and thriving is no small task. It’s more than a full time job. However, I do have flexibility in where and when I do that work. For example, planes are some of my favorite times to do work, in fact I am writing this from a plane at the moment! I write. I create. I manage. I prepare for speaking and interview requests. I respond. I envision. I decide. I execute. I strive.  And, I learn…
  • Learning how to run a business. I was an employee of a company prior to this but I have never been in charge of a company so there are skills that I need to develop, practice and repeat. Which is a living example of why your WHY is so important. I may not know all the HOW’s ahead of me but my WHY is stronger than almost any other than I can think of!
  • I still work part time for my other job at The Dailey Method. Not because I need to, but because I love the community, the classes and working with my friend and mentor Jill Dailey.
  • Finding Balance. I tend to close my computer for work related purposes by 6:00pm. Occasionally I open it to pay bills, plan travel, etc. but mostly the computer goes down when the sun goes down.
  • In-person time with family and friends. When I am in SF, I make plans with friends and family about 5-7 times/week, whether that is lunch, dinner, a walk or a workout class.
  • Travel: The seminars listed below, time with family and friends, and personal exploration take me on the road quite often.
  • Keeping my mind and body healthy.
    • I work out 5-7 days a week.
    • I separately schedule stillness (in the form of meditation, watching the sunrise/sunset, or taking a walk) 5-7 days a week.
    • I get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.
    • I am a part of a women’s mastermind.
    • I am part of a group where I can attend a number of different seminars this year on all different topics (business, finance, life, wealth, contribution, spirituality, etc.).
    • I listen to podcasts 3-5 times a week.
    • I am on average reading about 2 books/month.

So that’s sort of my life in a nutshell at the moment…

Note: I am not at all stating that any two situations are the same. There are some things you may be dealing with that I will never understand. I am aware and grateful that Scott and I built a business that allows me to work, to travel and to have flexibility with my schedule. I only list the above to give a tangible rather than hypothetical example of what is on my plate.

The Power of Productivity

So with all that being said, I want to share with you a deep dive into my own personal productivity strategies so that you too can get massive amounts of important stuff done.

But before we dive into all the tips and tricks, for this week I want to focus on sharing with you the single most important thing of all to be massively productive. Because if you don’t nail this one thing, the rest of the tips and tricks will simply make no difference.

So let’s dive in!

There is a ton of advice out there about how to be productive, but why is it important in the first place?

  1. YOU TAKE THE REINS OF YOUR LIFE

When you step in the driver’s seat of your own life instead of being subject to what is around you (one of those being ‘time’), you stop being a victim and start being a victor of your life. When you start to manage what is happening inside of you, instead of just reacting to what is around you, you take control of one of the few things we have in our power. This is what allows you to succeed no matter what happens around you – because no one can ever take you away from you. You start to discover what you are truly capable of, and that is empowering and inspiring all at once.

  1. FINDING EASE IN CHAOS

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when we have a lot going on. But stressing about what you having to do simply stops you from doing what you have to do. This doesn’t serve you or anyone else. So finding ways to focus and get sh*t done without all the baggage will make life easier for everyone, you and all those around you.

  1. THE MORE YOU DO, THE MORE YOU GIVE

The voice inside of you is meant to be heard. So the more you get out in the world instead of passively standing by and observing, the more your own unique voice will be heard. Whether that is in the form of what you create or who you help. The more time you spend genuinely doing things that make you you, the more you will give to yourself and to the world. Plus, it feels good to get sh*t done because as humans we all desire to grow and to give.

The #1 Thing you Need to Do to be More Productive

As I said above, we’ll get to the more practical tips over the coming weeks to help you get a lot of stuff done. But first let’s talk about the number one thing you need to do to manage all that you have going on with ease instead of angst.

And guess what? It has nothing to do with how you manage your schedule or what you prioritize.

Ready for it?!

Stop Complaining

Yep. The less you complain, the more sh*t you will get done. Without. A. Doubt!

Because the moment you stop complaining, you take responsibility. And the more you take responsibility, the more you own what you do. There’s a major difference in thinking that you have to be doing something rather than that you choose to be doing something.

And, on top of that, if you spend all of your time complaining about the sh*t you have to do, all you’re actually doing is prolonging the sh*t you have to do. Complaining literally just leads to more time for complaining!

In my opinion, you have three simple choices in any given situation:

  1. Complain 

Know anyone who has complained about something for the past 10, 20, 30 years?! Yep, that’s what we are talking about. The hardest work you will ever do is the work you do on yourself, which is why so many people stay in situations they don’t like. When you start to grow, you are forced to face your fears head on and get out of your comfort zone. Which can be scary! So staying in a situation and complaining about it is actually the easiest thing to do. And is often times a permanent and painful option.

  1. Change 

This would mean leaving a situation altogether or reworking where you currently are in that situation. I think we all know the person who jumps from one thing to the next, thinking is it going to make them happy but they never really end up satisfied with anything. That’s why it’s important to recognize that this can be permanent and joyful change if you are really aligned (which would actually be option 3) but most often is temporarily joyful if you are still relying on external factors (things and situations) to bring you happiness and fulfillment. Things will never permanently make you happy if you aren’t aligned with who you are.

  1. Align 

Aligning with a situation requires reworking your mind, your beliefs, your meanings, your associations about a particular thing to take ownership for what you are doing so that your actions are aligned with your why. Often times this involves getting outside of yourself and thinking bigger or broader about why you are doing what you are doing (i.e. who you are helping, the greater cause you are serving, etc.). This is often times a more permanent and joyful option but as you grow as a person you realign, then you grow, then you realign. I think you get my drift…

So, it’s pretty simple.

If you want to do more… stop complaining and start doing.

It’s not rocket science but it works because you start to take responsibility for the things you are choosing to do every day – because you are in fact making that choice.

Change Your Language, Change Your Life

We’d never leave you on that note without a take-away to help you put this idea into action, so here is a simple activity that will create that sense of ownership in the things you do.

It’s super easy, all you have to do is to change your language. Here’s a little step by step process:

  1. Notice how you say things. Do you find yourself saying “I have to go pick up the kids from school.” “I should go to this work function.” I have to go to the gym.”
  2. Replace “I have to” or “I should” with “I choose to.” Because really you don’t have to do anything! If you are doing it, you are choosing to, so own up to it. Make sure you make this correction not only as you speak aloud to others but also in your head. Your thoughts dictate your actions and your actions are what determine how much you actually get done!
  3. Notice the freedom you feel. And you may even start to release some heaviness (and realize that you are, as Tony Robbins says, ‘should-ing all over yourself’). So if you do happen to notice this, it might be time to take some of those things off your list… It will free you and those around you!
  4. Once “I choose to” feels like it has become your truth, take it a step further and replace “I choose to” with “I get to.” Because I can guarantee you someone would die to be in your shoes. You have to go pick up the kids from school? There’s someone out there who would do anything to have children of their own. You should go to a work function? There’s someone out there who thinks your job is their dream job and would love to be in your shoes. You have to go to the gym? There’s someone out there whose body does not allow them to go to the gym, so be grateful and honor the body you have. You “get to” do so many amazing things. Appreciate them!
  5. Once “I get to” feels like it has become your truth, take it a step further and replace “I get to” with “I want to.” Because when you can say this with genuine authenticity, you will want to!

It may sound like a subtle change, but will make a huge difference.

And because this post in it’s entirety turned out to be over 13 pages long, keep your eyes peeled for next week’s post where we’ll share 10 Practical Tips to Maximize Productivity!

For now, go do what you choose, get and want to do.

– Chelsea Dinsmore

P.S. Thanks to my dear friend Joel Gagnon for the inspiration for this post!

Source: DINSMORE, CHELSEA. “Productivity Part 1: The Single Most Important Thing to Do to Be Massively Productive (aka Get More Sh*t Done)! | Live Your Legend.” Live Your Legend. Http://liveyourlegend.net/, 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Unconventional Productivity

~ Zen Habits By Leo Babauta ~

I am always in search of strategies to help deal with procrastination, and this one looks good.
By Leo Babauta

There isn’t a productivity guide in the world that will solve the problems that pretty much all of us face daily.

I’m the same as you — I face these obstacles to getting stuff done:

  1. Doing busywork, instead of important work.
  2. Going to distractions instead of doing difficult work.
  3. Being tired and not feeling like tackling hard tasks.

These are all really the same problem: when you have important but difficult tasks to do, you run to distractions, or do busywork, or just goof off because you don’t have the energy.

I deal with this every day, and I don’t always solve it. But what if we could dive into this problem, and figure out what was going on? We’d be masters of the universe..

Pause Training

In truth, we face this problem of running from discomfort all the time, but we just don’t normally see it happening. This is why meditation is such a great training ground for the mind — you sit there and have nothing to do but notice the mind running from the discomfort of the present moment. Over and over. And in time, you learn how to work with this.

So I suggest you use your important tasks as meditation training, so that you’ll learn to work with the discomfort that arises.

Here’s how:

  1. Pick one important task you really should get done today.
  2. Clear space in front of you to do this task. Close the browser, or all browser tabs except the one you need to deal with this. Shut off the phone, clear everything else away, focus your mind on this one task.
  3. Sit there and do the task.
  4. Watch your mind want to run.

Now we’re going to do “pause training,” where instead of running from the discomfort, you pause. Breathe. Turn your attention to this discomfort — it might be fear, frustration, uncertainty, self-doubt, tiredness. Drop your story about this discomfort, and just notice how it feels physically, in your body. Where is this feeling of discomfort located? What quality does it have?

You’ll notice that the discomfort actually doesn’t feel that bad, even though you habitually want to run from it. It’s just energy. It’s not actually good or bad, but just energy that’s in your body, one that you normally don’t want to have and normally judge as “bad.”

Try this pause training for yourself. It won’t work to just read about it, you have to work with it. Get to know it, become intimate with it.

Unconventional Productivity

Once you’ve started to work with the discomfort, you’ll see that it’s No Big Deal. Nothing to worry about. It’s just a feeling, just energy. You’ll relax a little around it. Try to develop a friendly attitude toward it, instead of being harsh on yourself. Just notice, just smile, just breathe, just be gentle.

How do you turn this No Big Deal into productivity? Here’s a system to try:

  1. Set your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) every morning, first thing when you start work. List a few other “should do’s” after that, but focus on the MITs first.
  2. Pick one of the MITs, and clear space to do it. Before you check email.
  3. Do some pause training. Notice when you want to run from this task, pause, investigate the physical feeling of discomfort with gentleness, friendliness and curiosity.
  4. Set a heart intention. When you relax into the discomfort, and see it’s not a big deal, set an intention around the task — are you doing it to improve your life, to do something good for someone else, to help the world? Find the heart in your intention — it’s ultimately coming out of love. Say to yourself, “It is my intention to do this task out of love for __” (fill in the blank: yourself, someone else, the world, etc.).
  5. Work with love. Open your hear and do this task with the love that comes out of your intention. Notice when you’re feeling discomfort and want to switch to something else, relax, do pause training if you need to, and then start again.
  6. Take breaks. Every 10-15 minutes, get up and walk around. Stretch. Drink water. Check in with yourself and see how you’re doing. Then return to the task or pick another MIT.

You won’t be perfect at this, so don’t expect perfection. Just work with it, gently, and you’ll get better and better with practice.