vrijdag 8 juli 2011

Tips For Eating Out Low Carb

Following a new way of eating is hard enough at home, but what about when you leave the house? Worried you’ll fall prey to temptation? Concerned that well-meaning friends will sabotage your diet (C’mon, a little ice cream never hurt anyone!")? Here are some ideas to help you through.

Plan Plan Plan!

The more you decide ahead of time, the fewer choices will confront you when the waiter hands you the menu. Be clear about what you’re going to do. If possible, look at the menu ahead of time (many restaurants have menus online now).

At First, Take the Easy Street

If you are new to a particular diet, make it easy on yourself. You can handle pasta places some time down the road. For now, think about restaurants with easy low-carb choices. Places where things come separately (like steak and salad) are easier than cuisines that emphasize dishes with lots of ingredients.

Don’t Be Shy

Order confidently. Restaurants are used to special orders. As someone who can’t eat wheat products, I have become comfortable asking questions about the various dishes. Although I don’t expect a dish to be changed for me, I often get offers if I am polite about explaining my needs. You might think about adopting the attitude of someone with a medical condition who just can’t eat certain things. You may be surprised at how accommodating the chef can be. (The more casual the restaurant, the less likely this is to happen.)

Look for These

Here are some of the easiest things to order which are low in carbs:
  • Look for fairly plain (and unbreaded) meat with vegetables and/or salads (no croutons). Ask for extra veggies instead of the potato or fries (often if you say “no potato” you will be asked if you’d like more veggies, or the chef may just "fill out the plate" with them).
  • “Meal Salads” are getting more popular, and can be very tasty. If you don’t like the options, pick a sandwich that looks good, but ask for the “innards” to be put on top of a green salad.
  • Order the burger, steak sandwich, etc, without the bun. Have a salad on the side.
  • If it’s an “breakfast all day” type of place, order an omelet for lunch or dinner, with low-carb veggies such as spinach, peppers, mushrooms, etc. Have fruit on the side.

And Always…

- Substitute salad or veggies for higher carb sides like fries and macaroni salad.
- Ask for no bread basket or chip bowl –- or at least keep it as far from your seat as possible.
- Nothing deep fried.
- If you're feeling dessert-deprived, taste your table-mate's. A small spoonful could be all you need to satisfy your curiosity.

Finally, if you see something that you really wish you could eat, try to figure out how to make it low in carbs at home.

maandag 4 juli 2011

Eliminate procrastination

Are you affected?
Have you ever seen your most important tasks being put off until later and then later and later, while you are getting busy with many not so important activities? Did you hope that you may have more time and better mood in the future to start the task and do it properly? Does an approaching deadline mean a crisis for you? Do you keep hesitating every time you make a decision?

If you often see yourself in such low productivity situations, then there is a big chance that your life got under control of the procrastination habit. And those situations are only the most explicit symptoms.

What is it?
A basic definition of procrastination is putting off the things that you should be doing now. This happens with all of us time after time.

Yet, what makes a big difference for your success is your ability to recognize procrastination reasons and expressions in their different forms, and to promptly take them under control, before this bad habit steals your opportunities, damages your career and pride, or destroys your relationships. So why do not you do it now?

Causes of procrastination

What are typical reasons why you procrastinate? Procrastination: Do it now! Here are a few of the most common situations to consider in your anti procrastination efforts.

It can be as simple as

    Waiting for the right mood
    Waiting for the right time

Then look at the way you organize your work. You may notice other reasons for procrastination like

  •     Lack of clear goals
  •     Underestimating the difficulty of the tasks
  •     Underestimating the time required to complete the tasks
  •     Unclear standards for the task outcomes
  •     Feeling as the tasks are imposed on you from outside
  •     Too ambiguous tasks

And there are also many connections with

  •     Underdeveloped decision making skills
  •     Fear of failure or fear of success
  •     Perfectionism

maandag 27 juni 2011

Motivating your spiritual side

In order for us to be healthy and happy human beings, we cannot neglect our spirituality. This does not mean that we need to be intensely fanatical about religion or about a particular organization. In fact, spirituality does not have as much to do with religion as one might think at first glance. What it means is that we get in touch with our spiritual side. It is possible to go to place of worship frequently, but still neglect spirituality. In fact, many atheists would argue that they are more spiritual than religious people because they focus more and the here and now because this time is all we have.

Spirituality is a lot like physical fitness. It takes practice and motivation. Here are a few ideas of things than you can do to motivate yourself to increase your spirituality.

Read sacred writings or uplifting books.
The wisdom of the ages is found in books. Just as the written word has allowed us to become a technological civilization, books and sacred writings contain the human race's cumulative wisdom and spirituality.

Watch uplifting movies.
There are so many movies and television shows which are degrading, vulgar, rude, violent, and pornographic. This kind of material takes you further away from spirituality. If you can find movies where people forgive each other, show love to each other, and lift others up, then this will be time well spent.

Practice praying, meditating, or sitting quietly.
Just as in physical exercise, spiritual exercise takes time, practice and motivation. Commit to spending a certain amount of time each day in prayer according to your beliefs. Spend part your prayer time in silent contemplation. Don't try to use
God as your personal genie, but spend time praying for others, and listening silently for thoughts and impressions. Meditation is a good idea regardless of your faith. The goal of meditation should be to empty your mind of all the daily activities and troubles, and try to be quiet and enjoy being part of something larger. Spending this time daily will help you to see things differently in your daily life. You will be more in control of yourself instead of just acting out the script that life hands you. If you don't believe in God, and don't have the discipline to meditate, when you have a quiet moment, just sit quietly for a certain length of time and see what comes to your mind

Begin or increase your donations to charity.
Giving makes you feel good. Helping others in need is one of the best and time tested ways to increase your spirituality. You can also volunteer for worthy causes.

Practice focusing more on others.
When you find yourself in a conversation, and you catch yourself talking too much about yourself, stop and shift the focus of the conversation to the other person. Ask questions about them, compliment them, and show them that they are important to you. If there is somebody that you do not like, do something nice for them. If someone has done something to offend you or hurt you, forgive them. Try and put yourself in other people's place more often. Practice putting the desires of your spouse before your own. Treat members of your family with great respect.
Cultivating spirituality in your life is more important than anything else you can do. It requires motivation, perseverance, and a lot of hard work, but so does almost anything worth doing. The things that are the hardest to do often pay the greatest dividends.

maandag 20 juni 2011

How to Stay Motivated Forever

Just as willpower is an essential factor in achieving success, at some point in time, discouragement and lack of motivation may hinder you from reaching your objective. And it is up to you, and you alone to devise techniques that will help you keep that drive within afire.

It is helpful to have visual goals. Whatever the goal is that you are working towards, make it visual. It maybe something material like a car, or a vacation you have been looking forward to for the longest time.

Take or cut out a picture of it and post it at a conspicuous place at work or at home where you can see it often. So that when you feel discouraged, this will remind you of your goal and will help you keep your spotlight.

Make a contract with oneself. According to motivational researches, people who write down to-do-lists are far more triumphant in achieving their intended goals than those people who just keep mental lists instead.

Putting something in writing somehow makes it more powerful psychologically speaking. This may also be the basis why most cultures have such a high regard in honoring contracts. In the contract, you may also include a certain reward that you will give yourself once you have accomplished the task.

After all, everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Even a simple pat on the back, “good job”, or “thank you” may do the trick to give the person the additional push to carry on, but unfortunately, these may not always be readily available. Considering that these are also essential in keeping oneself motivated, you must learn to find a way to get that encouragement on your own through pleasing yourself.

Abusive people lower your self-esteem and bring you down. Get these negative people out of your life. Surround yourself with positive people. Imitate their example. Smile amply and think happy thoughts.

These will give you a brighter outlook and lets you see a clearer picture of what you really want and a fresh mind to know what steps to take to get there. Rather than wait for things to happen, try to be proactive and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Inactivity idles the brain and stagnates your potential to reach your goals. 

Read inspirational books and literature. These will help you improve your attitude and heal your mind. A book of success stories also proves to be encouraging. You will not only learn from others' experiences and derive confidence boosting insights from them but the story will be instrumental in motivating you to go for your goal and move ahead with your plans. If this still seems to falter, get training or education.

Oftentimes, not knowing how or where to start is frustrating. Knowledge is power. Having a clear understanding of how and where to start is empowering and it will provide the extra drive needed to hit the mark you are aiming at and follow it through.

Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try.

Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal. Divide and conquer is the key.

Break down the apparently unattainable activity to small doable steps. Not only does it become less overwhelming, but seeing the "in the meantime" results will further your confidence that it can indeed be done.

Lack of motivation happens to us all, but if you do not encourage yourself to accept opportunities and be challenged, no one else will. It is most important to keep your eye on the goal, find ways to keep going, and in no time, you shall reap its benefits.

And if at the beginning you were just doing it for the material reward, you will also learn to realize that the fulfillment, satisfaction and self-achievement you derive from reaching your goal is a much enjoyable high that will keep the drive within constantly burning.

vrijdag 3 juni 2011

Improve your self confidence in 15 minutes

I used to be frighteningly under confident in social situations. And although people who know me now would never believe I used to doubt myself so much I literally had to learn confidence until it became a natural part of me. I can tell you relaxed optimistic confidence is just, well so much more fun.

Here I’ll tell you about the things that made the most difference to my confidence levels…
Some people have naturally high levels of confidence but everybody can learn to be more confident
Firstly, it’s important to get a clear idea of what self confidence really means, otherwise you won’t know when you’ve got it! So, self confidence means:

1) Being calm. For every situation in life you need to run on the appropriate level of emotion. Too much emotional ‘leakage’ into a experience can spoil the experience. You make great strides towards confidence when you begin to relax in a greater range of situations.

2) Being cool. The second part of self confidence is about being able to relax with uncertainty. To be ‘cool’ in a situation really means relaxing with not knowing how things will pan out. If you truly tolerate uncertainty, you can do pretty much anything.

3) Not being too concerned with what others think of you. You know when you imagine what some place is going to be like before you go there but when you get there it is totally different to your imagination? That’s how reliable your imagination is! Stop trusting your imagination so much. I’ve long since stopped bothering to imagine what others think of me because so often I’ve turned out to be wrong.

4) Being specific – where do you want confidence? ‘Confidence’ is meaningless until you tie it to something specific. You are already confident that you can read these words or can switch a light on and off. So you don’t need more confidence everywhere. To get what you want in life you have to establish exactly what you do want. Where do you want confidence in your life? Think about the specific situations now and write them down. You beginning to steer your brain towards confidence.

5) Understanding that what you expect is what you get. Your brain is an organ that needs clear goals to work towards. When a task has been set in your brain it will do everything it can do to bring about the completion of that task. If you’ve tried to recall someone’s name but can’t, hours later you’ll often find their name pops into your head.
The ‘trying to recall’ experience set the task or blueprint for your brain’s future subconscious behaviour which eventually produced the name for you – when you weren’t thinking about it consciously. You can use this natural mechanism to start feeling more confident. But, to ensure you set the right task for your subconscious mind, the next point is vital.

6) Don’t task your mind with negatives. Instead of: ‘I don’t want to screw up’ (which sets the task of ‘screwing up’ for your brain), set the blueprint for what you do want! Your brain doesn’t work towards what to do by being told what not to do. And nature has given you a wonderful natural tool to set the right task blueprints with.

7) Use nature’s goal-setter: Now you understand how vital it is to set the right task for you brain, you need to know how to do this reliably. Good hypnosis will strongly ‘program’ the right blueprint in your mind through the use of your imagination. If you powerfully imagine feeling confident and relaxed while in a relaxed hypnotic state it will be hard for your unconscious mind to do anything else. The blueprint for relaxation has been set firmly into your subconscious mind.

Three simple strategies to get you feeling confident quickly:
   1) Think specifically of the time/place/situation you want to feel confident in. Remember ‘confidence’ doesn’t mean anything until you attach it to something specific.

   2) Focus on words in your mind right now that describe how you do want to be in that time and place. Maybe words such as ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’ or ‘focused’. Remember your brain works on clear positive instructions.
   3) Close your eyes for as long as you like and think about how those words feel. Then, imagine the situation itself and rehearse it in your mind feeling confident and relaxed. This way you set the right blueprint or ‘task’ for your unconscious mind.
You can repeat this often to make it more effective and use it with as many areas of your life as you need to. If you listen to a hypnotic cd or download that can make the benefits even more powerful (see my profile below). So if you feel like you’d be blessed with less confidence than some other people you can start redressing the balance by using your mind in the right way right now.

maandag 30 mei 2011

How to Stay Positive when You Know Your Life Sucks

1. Ground Yourself.
The most common reason why people think their lives suck is that they aren't living their own lives. Look deeply into whether you are acting to please others - to please family, friends, and society. Realize that you need to get to know who you are and what your needs are, and make the choices to follow your own path. To know these things, a path of meditation and inner exploration is invaluable.

2. Look on the inside.
What are some qualities you have that you like about yourself? Are you funny? Are you intelligent? Are you sincere? Are you generous? What do you have pride in? Try focusing on the positive things in your life. You may be having a positive influence on others even when you think you're useless.
3. Prove those negative thoughts wrong.
When you find yourself in a bad mood, you could think of the negative things such as, "I'm dumb and annoying", "I'm better off dead", "I'm ugly, I wish I looked different", etc. Even though it's not true. Change your mind. Look for your good features, think about the ones that you know love you, look on your greater side. Realize that nobody's life is easy and that there will always be ups and downs, and moments of low self esteem. Don't automatically assume that nobody cares. Every person matters to someone. You're alive for a reason.
4. Appreciate what you see.
Look in the mirror. Find some beautiful things about yourself.... Do you have nice skin? nice nails? beautiful eyes? full lips? Find stuff that appeals to you. When you can't change something, change your attitude towards it!

5. It's all how you look at it.
Jealous of the people with 'amazing' lives? They chose to be that way! Remember, there are people living in mansions who are miserable and people living on the street who are perfectly happy. It's all on how you look at it.

6. Determine how your life could be better.
What can you do to make your life better? What do you desire to do? How do you want to feel? Make a few reachable goals and your own strategies. The first step is usually the hardest - getting help or admitting you need it.

7. Sometimes it's just luck.
A lot of things in life are just luck. Where you were born, whether you had a kind loving family or an abusive one where your mind or even your life is in danger, whether you belong in your community or were born into an out-group by religion, race, etc., whether your family was rich or poor are all random things. It's what you do with it that matters. Remember that there is something epic and heroic in rising from harsh circumstances to do something well. Just surviving a rough situation and coming out of it with a heart is a triumph, a story that could move people long after you lived. That matters.

Sometimes situations that look good from the outside, like a wealthy but emotionally abusive family can inspire both misery and jealousy from others. Accept that's the situation. Remember that your life is your own and its direction is your choice. You don't have to be who other people tell you that you are, whether that's Future Criminals of America or Ruthless Cut-Throat Capitalist. You can change your life by choosing the direction that matters to you and pursuing it one small step at a time.

1. Get motivated.
What motivates you? What gives you energy to go on everyday? Music? Love? Family? A 1km run? God/Allah? Your attitude? Your pet? Friends? School? Give yourself a boost by focusing on what is important to you personally. 

2. Remember that some things can pass with time.
There will be a tomorrow. There will be a next week. There will be a next month and perhaps by then, things will have changed for the better. If you are underage in a bad situation you have a definite release date after which your life is your own, all the things you could do to better it will come into reach even if they're difficult.

3. Reminisce.
Whenever you feel like the future is 'hopeless', think about happy memories. It will help make you feel better and remind you that in the future, there will be good things, too. Think about all the good things you've experienced, felt, and achieved, and consider how many more good things could be waiting ahead. There will be many great moments in your life - don't let a few obstacles get in the way. If you don't have any happy memories, this is relative - don't judge them by things other people think of as "happy memories." Think of the moments it wasn't as bad, even if those were only in solitude.

4. Don't stop yourself from feeling the joy.
It's okay to step back once in awhile and just enjoy the moment. Even in tough situations - it's important to smile and laugh here and there. Don't restrict yourself from doing things you love because they're "not important" or because you think you'll be criticized for doing them. Let yourself enjoy life even if you're not at the best place you could be. You only live once - make the best of it.

5. Develop a gratitude journal.
It's pretty simple. At the end of every day, write down five things that have made you happy or appreciative that day -- not necessarily big things, even small ones count. For example: nice weather, being praised by my boss for getting an urgent errand done, my playful dog, kids and hubby kissing me goodbye before they went to school/work, a hilarious joke a mate shared, etc.

6. If you feel persistently sad, unmotivated, anxious, hopeless or fearful, seek professional help.
You may be suffering from a mood disorder or nutritional deficit which could be contributing to your situation. Chronic physical pain can cause these symptoms too, if an aspirin lifts your mood then go to a pain clinic. Remember there is always somebody there who wants to help you. You are valuable!

vrijdag 27 mei 2011

What Drives You to Success?

Ten reasons people are driven to succeed.

"There's no success like failure," wrote Bob Dylan, "and . . . failure's no success at all." Here are 10 of the most compelling "drivers" that account for the correlation between success and excess.

1. You need to make money - and to make meaning.

"Today's generation of businesspeople is the first to face a double goal: profit and a meaningful life," says Caroline Myss, a psychologist and author of the best-selling book Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing (Harmony Books, 1996). "Never before were leaders allowed to have a heart or to ask, 'Who am I?' Nobody is immune to this crisis of spiritual seeking. Business has always been the solid foundation of life. But now this rock-hard level of society is finally experiencing its own spiritual cataclysm."

2. Welcome to the United States of Anxiety.

Today there are more than 3.5 million households in the United States with a net worth of $1 million or more. Between 1983 and 1992, the number of millionaire families doubled. The stock market is skyrocketing to all-time highs; the IPO market offers the promise of instant wealth. But how long will this trend continue? Will you get yours before it all comes down?

3. If you thought climbing the career ladder was tough, try climbing without one.

The end of hierarchy has left people liberated - but also confused. "Up until the 1960s," says Myss, "the longer you were with an organization, the more respect you gained. Now experience doesn't count. To get to the next level of success, you need to make a quantum leap, which requires a burst of energy that many people just don't have."

4. The "Brand Called You" has a dark side.

Brand management is a tricky proposition. Look at what happens to brands in the marketplace: They achieve prominence and success, but they also receive criticism and suffer from mismanagement. Nike goes from being brand-management darling to being a brand problem child. How would you like that to happen to the brand called you?

5. Work is (still) alienating.

In the early 1900s, factory work was said to alienate dislocated farmers from the source - and the satisfaction - of production. Work today is perhaps no less alienating. "We have no role as workers anymore," says media consultant John B. Evans. "To be divorced from doing meaningful work, such as raising a family or participating in your community, makes you feel like an imposter."

6. Mortality has become the new morality.

After age 30, you achieve new levels of professional success and business power. After age 30, you confront your own mortality. Feelings of high accomplishment arrive simultaneously with feelings of great loss. You control your company, you control your department, you control your territory - but ultimately, you control nothing. You confront the biggest fear in your life: the fear of your death.

7. Leadership has become dangerous to your health.

Leaders today feel trapped in a role from which they cannot escape. "People start projecting on you," says addiction-compulsion specialist Mary Bell. "Sometimes, when you go to a dinner party, the people around you are enthralled by all that you do and say. Everybody's seducible. Other times, you feel like you're invisible." Followers and leaders fall into patterns of helplessness and powerfulness - and wage a civil war through sabotage and mutual distrust.

8. Chaos - if it's out there, it's in here.

The world is changing so rapidly and so unpredictably that a product that's hot one moment will be cold 10 seconds later. At the birth of the Information Age, Marshall McLuhan made a point that's more true now than ever: If it works, it's obsolete. Fleeting success is a prescription for insecurity.

9. Your life is one extended report card.

"At the halfway point in your life, a qualified success is subjectively not much better than a gross failure," says Daniel Levinson, author of The Seasons in a Man's Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 1978). Either you've made it big or you haven't. You no longer fit into the category called "Shows promise."

10. You believe that you've sold out.

"Whether in the Harvard establishment or at the heights of American business, people feel that they've embraced authority and sold out a fundamental aspect of their own soul," says Jungian analyst Nathan Schwartz-Salant. "They feel they might have been a different person, a better person, if they had gone another route." You feel the need to justify the choices you've made - so you end up wanting to destroy not who you are but who you never became.

donderdag 26 mei 2011

How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate

Somewhere, sometime in life, everyone has a job they hate. Whether the hours are terrible, the pay is awful, the coworkers are wretched, or the boss is horrid, hated jobs are very much a thing of the present. We work them for different reasons, for different lengths of time, and with different levels of satisfaction, but almost all of us work them at some point. For many people, these jobs are a drag that make them feel like hollow shells of their former selves. However, there are a few people who manage to survive and thrive in jobs they really don't like. Here are a few of their secrets for making that hated job easier.

Know Why You're There

Whether you took the job in the first place because you thought it was something other than it turned out to be or because you absolutely had to make rent and couldn't do it any other way, knowing why you took the job will help you maintain perspective while you're there. Remembering the process that led up to your current situation: the job search, the interviews, your conversations with others about the job, your conversations with yourself about it, hearing that you had the job, your acceptance of it, and anything else you went through during that time will remind you that you are more than your job. YOU took IT for a good reason. If that reason isn't so good anymore, well, then it's time to reevaluate. But you can do that, because you are more than the job.


Know What You Really Want

Often, a terrible job will help you know what you would want in a good job. So go ahead and note what these things are! Are your current coworkers loud? Note that you would like a job where you can have quiet time to focus, at least when working on large projects. Is your boss always second-guessing or changing your decisions? Note that you would like a job where employees are trusted and tasks are truly delegated. Go through the process of actually writing these things down. When you have a physical list of what you want, your current job won't seem so worthless. After all, it helped you learn what to look for next!
Once you have this list, add to it the things you've dreamed about doing. Would you like a job that requires a lot of problem-solving instead of a set group of tasks? Include that. Would you rather work for yourself? Note it. Have you always dreamed of writing for a living? Put it down.
Whether you're in a position to actually go out and look for another job or not, this list shows what you know about yourself, job-wise. And knowing what you want is often the first step towards getting it.


Know Your Motivation for Staying

If you're planning to stay in a job you dislike, it's important that you know why. Is your current job the only one in your area that fits your skills? Or do you need it to keep your children fed and clothed? Whatever the reason, remembering what it is and keeping it at the forefront of your consciousness makes working a difficult job easier. When you do this, you end up working not for the job itself, but for whatever the motivation is behind your being there. The job becomes more than a job: it becomes a way to fulfill whatever desire moved you to take it in the first place.


Make a Conscious Choice to Stay

Knowing your motivation also makes it possible for you to evaluate it. Maybe you wanted a job close to home because you were newly married and wanted to spend as much time as possible with your new husband. Now, he's working regular hours and taking some night classes, so your short commute doesn't net the two of your more time. While working the hated job might have been worth it for the time together, it's not when it doesn't produce that result. Or maybe you realize that you qualify for lots of different jobs of the same type that you're working now, and you realize that a different work environment might make things much more tolerable. Whatever your motivation, consider carefully whether it's enough motivation to stay at the job.
If your motivation is enough for you to keep the hated job, make staying a conscious choice. Own your choice. You do not HAVE to stay at the job, but you CHOOSE to. And you know the reasons behind your choice, and that they are enough to outweigh the fact that you hate what you're doing. Deliberately choosing to stay will help you own the job. It will help you to feel, in some small way, like you are doing what you want to do (because you do want it, even if only from the perspective that it is better than any current alternative).


Make that Choice Again If You Have To

Even after you choose to stay, there will be parts of the job that you dislike. Those parts may even make up the majority of your time there! If you can notice those parts and notice the feelings of frustration/rage/anger/sadness/hopelessness/whatever that rise up in you, you can choose to make your choice again. Run through the motivations, and the reasons why those motivations are worth it. Remember that you are more than this job, that you chose it.
This is really hard (particularly when you're used to letting the negative emotions take over)! Stick with it. Remember that you will fail sometimes, and go home complaining and pissed off again. Over a long period of time, though, your choice will become the habit instead of the emotions.


Feel Your Feelings


When something comes up in your job that you hate, feel that. Let yourself feel whatever emotion comes over you. Don't try to hide it inside, or it will just blow out later. If you need to take a walk, or go to the restroom, or even put the emotion on an internal shelf to feel later (just be sure to take it back out!), do that. Letting things build up until they might explode is never a good idea. So let yourself feel. And, in the midst of your feelings, remember your choice. Remember why even these awful feelings are worth sticking it out.


Have Realistic Expectations


Don't expect yourself to ever love your job. Don't think that you should be loving it so something must be wrong. Instead, expect that you won't like it. Expect that the things that have frustrated you since the first day will still frustrate you now and will probably continue to do so as long as you stay at the job. If you expect that, the job will never sink below your expectations. However, at this point, you know that you are more than the job. You don't expect all of your satisfaction to come from that, because there are more areas in your life than just that.


Take Advantage of Any "Extras" the Job Offers


Some jobs suck, but have great perks. Right now, I work a job that I actually like (well, most of the time!). But, even if I didn't like it, I'd probably work here because it gets my husband huge discounts on his grad school tuition (I work at the university). Knowing that my working here helps us financially like that can make a big difference when I want to throw in the towel. Different jobs have different perks, but almost every job has at least one. My husband is a server at a local restaurant. He doesn't like it, but he gets to bring home any mistakes they make. Knowing that we'll get delicious pasta for lunch the next day often makes his shifts feel lighter and go faster. I know it sounds crazy, but taking advantage even of these small things makes staying easier.


Personalize Your Space


Put up pictures of the people who are your motivation for working. Decorate the walls of your cube with colorful material. Decorate your computer screen with sayings that inspire you. If your workplace won't allow any of those things, wear a locket with a special picture in it or carry one in your wallet. Put something small and special in your pocket so you can at least touch it whenever you want. These things help make your space, your computer, you person YOURS, and if they're yours then they don't belong to the horrible job that you hate. Once again, these things help you feel like you are more than your job, help you remember why you're really there, and help you choose to stay.
It's pretty clear that no one wants to stay in a job they hate. But if you choose to, whether because it satisfies some deeper motivation or because it's the best of a bad situation, these ideas should help you thrive there without feeling dead inside.

dinsdag 24 mei 2011

Finding Balance and Meaning in a Nine-to-Five World

I have actually heard people say that the way they are at work is "not really the way they are." I cannot think of a sadder declaration about the conditions of one's life than that. Work should not be a life sentence for suffering.
The idea of work-life balance is an illusion we create. The reality is that we have only one life, about one third of which we spend earning a living.

So, how do you want to live your life, in and out of work? That's the question everyone seeking happiness and a sense of balance should be asking. What are your conditions of satisfaction? What are your material aspirations? How much do you need to earn to meet them? How much are your time and skills worth? What kinds of people do you prefer to work with? What kind of work really turns you on, makes you sing?

I encourage people who are grappling with these questions to see the workplace as an ideal setting for personal growth and transformation. This quest is what I call "walking around spirituality." It means treating your job as your life's work - behaving and interacting with clients, coworkers, and customers in such a way that you enrich yourself and all those who come in contact with you.
Those among us who are the most fun and inspiring to work with are leading satisfying lives. They are not necessarily the highest paid or highest placed folks in the organization - that may not even be their prime motivation. We admire these people because they are true to themselves. They have found a balance, not between life and work, but between being and doing.

They are being who they want to be, and doing what they want to do. Here are some simple guidelines that might very well help you find more meaning and balance in your work and life.
  • Follow your calling. Some tasks are not worth doing. Unless you have a calling to the work, there is a high probability that it will not be done well. The people who feel happy and satisfied at work at those who are working well at something they consider important. Some of the time it will be interesting, some of the time it will be entertaining, and some of the time it will be boring and difficult. But even when it is boring or difficult, it should still feel important to you.
  • Work in a state of awareness. Day-to-day life in the workplace can be dangerous because the opportunities to go to sleep, or operate on automatic, abound. Try to be fully aware of your behavior and decisions and what your life's mission and purpose are. Stay awake to each opportunity for self-growth and knowledge.
  • Embrace interdependency and interconnection. One of the great paradoxes of life is that we are put here in separate compartments, and yet we are always part of something much greater than ourselves, something that we affect and something that affects us. Whatever we do or don't do has an impact on the lives of others - that is just the way it is. Therefore, we have a certain responsibility to each other, which is also true in the place we work.
  • Take responsibility. Many people in today's world are not getting everything they need, either in life or in the workplace, and they are beginning to suspect that maybe this has something to do with them, not their circumstances. Take responsibility for your peace of mind, personal transformation, or attitude overhaul. The workplace is a perfect laboratory as you search for your own truth, for the obvious reason that you spend so much of your life there.
  • Stay young. Staying young boils down to waking each morning with a sense that you still have places to go and things to do, and you are grateful for the opportunity to have a future. Make your life into a learning experience from beginning to end, and from nine to five. Meet life on its own terms and adopt a student's mind in doing so.
  • Express gratitude. In many people's experience, the single most missing element in their day-today work lives is appreciation. Remind yourself, through the practice of saying thank you - that other people at work don't have to support you; their support is a gift. That they get paid is immaterial to the notion of your being grateful.
  • Accept circumstances without judgment. See business realities for what they are and accept them without judgment, thus creating the condition for acting freely. You cannot control your circumstances, but you can choose your path.
  • Have integrity. Be completely true to what you know is right and what you feel you must do, regardless of the immediate cost or sacrifice. Be honorable and behave decently in and out of work.
If you sense the "something is just not right" in your work life, consider that what you may actually be sensing is a gap between your "being" and your "doing" that is causing you discomfort. How do you want to "be" in your job and in your life? In the workplace setting, the most satisfied and successful players are those who have found a way to integrate spiritual common sense (being) with exceptional workplace behavior and business performance (doing).

zondag 22 mei 2011

This one is for the ladies (and some men)

9 Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated

Ways to Rediscover Your Drive

Everyone tells us to stay motivated. Our friends, our co-workers, our relatives say to keep going, don’t quit. Sometimes, though, you ask, "Why? Why try my hardest when it ends in disappointment? Why go through something when it’s going to hurt? Why?"

Because it’s going to be different this time! Because you can’t accomplish anything that you give up on. Disappointments and failures happen to everyone. The difference between those who reach their goals and those who don’t is staying motivated. If you’re motivated, you’ll keep going. If you keep going, eventually you’ll reach your goal.

Need more reasons? Here are 10 of our ‘hidden’ reasons to stay motivated. Use one or all of them to keep the fire burning inside you.

1. Confidence

How did it feel after that first jog around the block? Or when you finally walked the stairs at work without losing your breath? The more you accomplish, the more you’ll believe in yourself.

2. Fit into that dress

It’s been hanging up in your closet for two years now, just waiting to be thrown on for a night on the town. All it takes is for you to go that extra mile and stay on track. Before you know it, those two years will be ancient history.

3. Make the week easier

Ever felt like a week was taking forever? It feels like Friday, but it’s only Tuesday? This happens when you’re not working towards anything. When you have a goal in mind, you’ll want to cook that healthy dinner or go to the gym. The week will not only go faster, but be more enjoyable.

4. Gives you purpose

Every once in a while, we need a good reason to get out of bed. Here it is, right in front of you. Eat the healthy breakfast that’s going to jump start your day, go for your morning jog, or walk to the driveway and grab the newspaper. When you’re motivated, you have a reason to do what you do.

5. For your kids

And your grandkids. And their kids, too. The healthier you are, the longer you’ll be around to watch your kids grow and to spoil your grandchildren. They’ll want you to be around as long as possible; consider this just another present.

6. Power of momentum

It’s a scientific fact – something in motion tends to stay in motion. Momentum builds quickly and can lead to great results. Suddenly, you’re not only working for the goal, but also to keep your streak alive. Even more reason to reach your goals.

7. The ‘wow’ effect

Picture this: Walking into a restaurant, you run into someone from high school, and their eyes light up. They gasp, "Wow, you look great!" By sticking with your goals, this can happen. Watch the "wows" add up.

8. Spread the spark

When friends and family see how hard you’re working, they’ll wonder how they can reach their own goals. Guess who they’re going to look to for help? By staying motivated, you’ll not only help yourself, but others too.

9. Keep gaining experience

The more you do, the more you will learn and understand. You’ll discover which tactics work best for you and which ones don’t. It’s like weeding out the garden - not the most enjoyable job in the world, but when you’re done, all that’s left are beautiful flowers. Keeping sticking with it and soon it will be all flowers for you.

vrijdag 20 mei 2011

Fitness programs: 7 tips for staying motivated

Fitness doesn't have to be drudgery. Stay motivated by setting goals and choosing activities you enjoy.

Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Many people start fitness programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly — but it doesn't need to be that way. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious. For example, if you haven't exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk five minutes once or twice a day. An intermediate goal might be to walk 20 minutes three or four times a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.

2. Make it fun

Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Discover your hidden athletic talent. Remember, exercise doesn't have to be drudgery — and you're more likely to stick with a fitness program if you're having fun.

3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine

If it's hard to find time for exercise, don't fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Be creative! Take a walk during your child's music lesson. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises with resistance tubing while you watch TV at night.

4. Put it on paper

Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down! Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated. It may also help to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can help you work toward your goals — and remind you that you're making progress.

5. Join forces with friends, neighbors or others

You're not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club.

6. Reward yourself

After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

7. Be flexible

If you're too busy to work out or simply don't feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Now that you're enthusiastic again, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation sliding.

donderdag 19 mei 2011

Developing positive patterns

What are patterns and what do they have to do with me? In short, it has everything to do with you, me and everyone. Let me take a moment to explain.

Do you know someone who is always late? And are they always making up excuses? “I couldn’t find the file”, “My wife misplaced my car keys”, “I need more time”, “What you’re asking is impossible”, “I had some chores to do late last night”, “I didn’t realise we were planning to meet so soon” and on and on.

What about a friend who complains they are always broke? Yet, they make a decent living – they may even earn the same wage as you. Do you know anyone who is living from paycheck to paycheck? Spending everything as soon as they get paid?

Believe it or not, the reason why this friend is always late or broke is not because of some mystical force in the universe but because of the patterns they have established. How they feel, what they think and how they react are all elements of patterns they have established. These patterns operate at the sub-conscious level and are constantly working to fulfil our friend’s expectations.

If you feel you’re going to be late, you will be. If you think you’re always broke, you tend to be.

The trick to achieving your life goals and being happy is to minimise the negative patterns and reinforce the positive patterns. Focus on establishing the habits which lead to desired results. Eliminate the temptations to do bad and surround yourself with aids that encourage the good.

If you will keep on reading, you will find out that my goal is to transition from being just a Software Engineer to an Entrepreneur. I know this isn’t going to be easy. I don’t even have a business idea yet. I certainly do not know what it takes to establish a company.

So what’s patterns got to do with anything? Everything.

It’s not just about changing my environment or circumstances, it’s about changing me. In order to achieve my goal, I first have to change my patterns. Patterns that allow me to be a good Software Engineer may not be the same patterns I need to be a successful Entrepreneur.

For example, in order to be more business savvy, I may need to spend more time reading business related texts. One way to encourage this is to setup Bloglines with more business feeds at the top of the list so I end up reading these before anything else. Also, if I am to launch a new web service, I need to consistently dedicate time outside of work to do this. This could mean, forming a habit to wake up at 5:30am and blocking out 90 mins every day.

There are lots more examples and I’ll write more about these new patterns in future posts. In the meantime, if you have a life goal you wish to accomplish or have something in your life you are unhappy about, think about the patterns you have. Which patterns are negative? Can you minimise them? If possible, establish as many positive patterns as you can that would help you achieve your goals.

1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward

Don't Let a Setback Stop You from Pushing Ahead


"Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese Proverb
"Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never." - Winston Churchill
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

These quotes all say the same thing. No matter how many obstacles you run into, what matters is that you’re able to overcome each of them, one at a time.

"Two steps forward, one step back" is usually a negative term to describe someone who is having trouble making progress. But switched around, "1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward" means that instead of grousing or feeling guilty about a misstep, you can still come out ahead if you put your head down and push forward.

Steps back can take many forms: a family vacation, breaks in your routine, personal tragedies, injuries, or that lost weekend in front of the tube. A big mistake people make when trying to get healthier is that when they fall off a bit or something happens, they think they "have to start over". Wrong! When missteps do happen, a better strategy is to simply take two steps forward. You’re still ahead of where you were before, far beyond the starting line.

woensdag 18 mei 2011

Why do some people seem to get everything they want, while others struggle just to make ends meet?

The answer is simple: You were never taught how to get what you want; you were never given the right information. You learned how to read and write, walk and talk, but when it came to the most important tools of all, you were left without the answers.

Successful people, those that enjoy an amazing quality of life and seem to attract the things they want, are different from unsuccessful, unhappy people. They think differently, act differently, and play by an entirely different set of rules from the rest.

Take the pain out of your life and put the happiness back in with some inspiring quotes & daily motivation tips here.

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
- Abraham Lincoln 
The most successful leaders and artists throughout history have followed specific paths and attained their hearts' desires. Keep an open mind and a hopeful outlook - then change your thinking. Put on the clothes of success. Act as though you already have accomplished your desires. Then let the reality catch up.

Remember to visit for your MOTIVATIONAL posts!
These inspirational and motivational articles will get you on the right path to success.

Stay Motivated When You Don't Feel Like It

Stay Motivated When You Don't Feel Like It
Reaching a goal is easy to say, and in real life can be harder to do. That’s why staying motivated during the times that you just don’t feel like it, or when you don’t even want to try is so important. There are keys as to why you might not feel you’re at full potential. It could be you – a not very self confident you.
If you think you can just fake it and you’ll be successful, then think again. It won’t work. So what can you do?

Start by looking your self confidence issue square in the face and then change it! No one else can, and to be honest no one else cares as much as you should. Write down why you feel the way you do and make a list of the areas you would like to improve or change totally about yourself. Be honest and know what is really important to improve on, and what can be changed. Develop a plan for your spiritual life too. If you don’t have grounding in a spiritual or religious life, take the time to find one. It will change how you handle life, and any curve balls it throws at you. You only have one life to live, so live it to your fullest, and to the best of your capabilities. Without addressing your self confidence issue – no time management skills matter, but don’t be to hard on yourself change takes time, but begin today changing your future.
Here are 5 tips that you can use to stay motivated, and to achieve whatever goals that you’ve set out for yourself in your life.

Make a plan to stay motivated. Write it down. 
Look at the different ways that keep you motivated and write those down too. There are endless possibilities for motivation that you can use, and there will be new ones that you might discover along the way. Take some time to read some books from inspirational power leaders such as Tony Robbins, or use spirituality to inspire you and give you hope.

Take the time to write down
every morning, or even the night before, short term lists for goals that you want to achieve that day or the next. By focusing on a few short term goals your long term ones will become closer and well defined. Take your long term goals and shorten them into easier to accomplish steps.

Walk from room to room 
and post some brightly colored post-it notes listing all of the positive things that will happen in your life by achieving your goals. Taking a look at the goals you will accomplish will inspire you to reach for the goal and not to give up.

Use time wisely by taking care of your body. 
Regular exercise and a healthy diet in conjunction with a steady sleep routine will keep you alert and focused on the goals ahead.

Reward yourself when you reach a milestone toward your goal.
Do this by taking some time for you, in other words take the time to smell the roses. Soak a little longer in the tub, buy a new outfit, and take a day off to spend with a loved one, or just nap the afternoon away. Do whatever it takes to make you feel good about what reaching out for your goal.

As you go along with your plans always recognize that when the bad days hit, there will always be a tomorrow. However, if you notice that you just can’t get out of the unmotivated mood you’re in, then it could be signs of a physical problem that could be causing you experience depression. Imbalances in the body can really play havoc on your goals, and delay the time for you reaching your goals.

By reaching for the stars and succeeding you’ll find things out about yourself that you never knew. The most important thing to remember is that you should never quit, even when the chips are down. Why? Because you understood and put into practice your own version of the 5 time management tips and beat the odds! The best thing is if you did it once you can do it all over again.