How to determine if you’re an amateur or a professional

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In a recent post, I talk about taking massive action to fight for your goals. The article I reference focuses on the importance of changing our mindsets. And that it isn’t just trying something once, or trying and failing and then quitting. It means trying until we get the results we want; i.e., mastering daily habits that ultimately lead to success. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits and the creator of the Habits Academy, it’s about the power of schedule and creating a daily routine. Clear says, “Stop waiting for motivation or creative inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set a schedule and stick to it. Amateurs wait until they feel inspired or motivated.” Further, give yourself permission to deliver a less-than-average outcome. “The only way to be consistent enough to make a masterpiece is to give yourself permission to create junk along the way.”

So what’s the verdict—amateur or pro?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part VI, the glue + tip #2

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Words we speak about an experience become the experience.
~ Derek Hough

In my post, “…Part V and thinking SMART,” I review nighttime routines and working smarter. Plus, I promise to reveal the glue that holds it all together: consistency. If you’re not seeing results, crushing your goals or manifesting your dreams, try sticking to a consistent habit, goal or practice until 1) either change occurs or 2) you need to try something new. Oh, and tip #2 that KM gave me at the start of my 45-day challenge? Quit complaining. The hard truth: complaining attracts negativity and misfortune. Don’t believe me? Try this at home (aka everywhere): Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it each time you complain and then switch wrists. But attempt to keep it on the same wrist for 21 days and watch what happens. Bonus: incorporate five minutes of focused gratitude into your morning routine. Check out these other resources: James R. Doty, simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/examples/goals, zapier.com/blog/smart-goals/.

Are you ready to attract abundance?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part V and thinking SMART

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In my last post on taming the monkeys and “… what ‘not’ to do,’ I stress the importance of keeping our a.m. routines simple to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I also promised to touch on our evening routines. So why is an evening routine important? It prepares us for a successful tomorrow. Key focus areas in the p.m. might include: 1) spend time with family, 2) work on a task and/or goal; 3) review the day and 4) prep/plan for the following day. In addition, working SMARTer, not harder, is vital to success in every endeavor (in my opinion). And a second equally important component—or glue—holds it all together. But first, how do we work SMARTer? Create plans/goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (Trackable). Over the past month and a half, I’ve discovered myriad planning tools, but here’s a good place to start: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm. More planning tips and the glue that holds it all together next time.

What does your evening routine look like?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part IV and what ‘not’ to do

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In my post, “Taming the monkeys, Part III… ,” I began sharing insights on planning, plus a link to time-management thought leader Ben Hardy. Several of his articles tout the importance of planning because, according to another Ben (Franklin), If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. First thing’s first: plan a morning (and evening—more on that later) routine that sets you up for success. As Hardy says: You make or break your life before 8 a.m. Bonus material: here’s what not to do: change too many things at one time. Keep it simple, or you’ll become overwhelmed. Hardy, himself, swears by these straightforward steps: wake up, drink water, take a cold (optional) shower, get dressed, meditate/pray, visualize/set goals, create/work. Personally, I skip the cold shower and incorporate yoga stretches into my mornings. But allow Google to be your friend as you plan a customized routine. For more ideas, visit https://21dayhero.com/morning-routines-guide/ and https://www.scienceofpeople.com/morning-routine/. Coming up: think SMART.

What three things comprise your morning routine?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Showstopper alert: Kicking your booty back into gear

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I interrupt my “Taming the monkeys” blog series with a showstopper: What happens when we’ve planned our routines, morning (and p.m.—more on that later) and, well… life? Many of my past ramblings talk about going with the flow, practicing flexibility, yada yada. But sometimes. It. Doesn’t. Work. Out. And that’s okay. The other morning, smack dab in the middle of my a.m. ritual, my husband dropped a bombshell. Uhm, now? Although the unplanned convo ate into my schedule, I opted to stick to my free writing session and forgo the bed making, albeit a little less in-your-face confident. Although I felt knocked down a peg, I refused to allow the temporary derailment to define my day. Incidentally, all got resolved, and that evening’s 60-minute hot Pilates practice followed by 45 minutes of hot barre kicked the “token old lady’s” booty—which kicked me right back, or close to, that higher vibrational frequency I’ve been operating from for the past several weeks.

How do you handle the showstoppers?

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part III and the definition of ‘planning’ according to me

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My recent post, “Taming the monkeys with practical tips…,” came to fruition when my new friend, KM, asked me: What would it take for you to feel unstuck? My response: “I really don’t know.” It turns out the process of planning offered half the solution [see “Taming the monkeys: Part II…”]. First, what is planning and what does it constitute? To me, it’s a way to organize my thoughts into action. In other words, putting the monkey mind to good use. But where to begin? KM threw out a name: Benjamin Hardy—a time-management guru already on my radar—and an expert on planning for success by incorporating X tasks into our morning routines before 8 a.m. Check out his website at  http://benjaminhardy.com for inspiration and strategies for rapid life improvement, including a.m. habits of the [rich and] successful. But beware: I learned the hard way what not to do. That’s up next (plus more planning sites to check out).

Describe your a.m. routine with one word.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The best use of our time: a legacy lived out

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In my post, “How to jump start your day…,” I suggest a break from the daily grind as a method to motivate beyond the initial cup of morning java. Yet, as I sit at my laptop and attempt to sum up a half century of lessons learned to craft a life from which I don’t want—or need—to escape, a longtime friend of mine fights for her life. Cancer: A word that even reeks of insidious intent. Another friend struggles with feelings of loss and isolation, while another mourns a broken relationship. Still others suffer in silence. Admittedly, I’m ashamed when I utter words of complaint over a trivial inconvenience, an unpleasant interaction, a facial blemish visible today and forgotten next week. And it seems trite to believe I have the answers, a cure-all. But what I think it all boils down to is this: to live out a legacy of love. Passionately, transparently, courageously and honestly. While there’s still time.

What does your legacy look like?

Photo source: https://bitsofpositivity.com.

How to jump start your day: a quest for the Holy Grail

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Fantasy: I am so excited to begin each day that I jump out of bed in the mornings. Reality: I silence the alarm, squint at my cellphone and weep a little on the inside when I realize it’s time to get up. As much as I like my day job, what I’d like even more is to find that reason to jump out of bed in the mornings. Yes, I’m grateful, thankful, blessed—which the wooden sign hanging over my kitchen window calls out to those who enter the room. But aside from my morning coffee, there’s very little that excites me about the ritual I perform once I’m awake. This past weekend, however, I broke free from my daily routine and enjoyed a mini getaway up north. I’m convinced this deviation from my everyday agenda is the Holy Grail required to jump start my days. Mission: Figure out how to make it work Monday through Friday.

What gets you excited to jump out of bed each morning?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Be a wo(man) on a mission: gratitude with intention

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Since I misplaced my mojo (see “Don’t let anything dull your sparkle…”), I’ve been on a mission to get “unstuck.” For the past few posts, now, I’ve talked about how I’m rebooting my mojo—by recommitting to a mantra, challenging myself (again) and changing the rules. Here’s another tip I’ve begun to employ: gratitude with intention. On Jan. 1, I opened a brand new journal I received from my BFF, as well as a book of 365+ gratitude prompts a dear friend gifted me for my last birthday. Thus began a daily look at my life through the lens of gratefulness. Unfortunately, just like any routine, over time this practice started to become stale and simply something to check off my to-do list. However, once I took on the mission of locating my missing mojo, I began to approach my morning journaling sessions with intention vs. habit. This has also spilled into my everyday life—through tiny attitude adjustments that make a world of difference.

What’s your mission?

7 tips to incorporate mindfulness into your day

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If you want to conquer the anxiety of life,
live in the moment, live in the breath. ~ Amit Ray

In my post, “A month of mindfulness…,” I share how I’ve begun to practice mindfulness—the act of consciously directing my awareness, without judgment—moment by moment. I also include a few examples of where I’ve begun to pay attention on purpose. Here are seven tips on how you might incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine: 1) Choose a better-for-you beverage or snack option. 2) Focus on your breath when you’re uncomfortable, scared or upset. 3) Give other speakers 100 percent of your attention. 4) Notice if you exhibit behaviors like jumping to conclusions or overreacting, interrupting or responding with rudeness. 5) Look for ways to extend compassion and kindness to those around you. 6) Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations—before you “think aloud.” 7) Pause before you speak/email/text. Bonus: Always remember it’s a practice. Then watch the changes start to unfold.

How do you practice mindfulness?

Photo courtesy of David Castillo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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