Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you.

Beating Holiday Stress
by On December 18, 2012

It is possible to survive the holiday frenzy without feeling frantic — if you know how. Here are top tips from some of the nation’s leading stress experts.

By Vicki Haddock/WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte E. Grayson, MD

The holidays really are the best of times and the worst of times. Our tidings of comfort and joy can so easily be devoured by the insatiable stress to do it all, be it all, and buy it all.

And that stress is nothing to ho, ho, ho about, either. It increases your risk of illness and even death. One study, published in the Oct. 12, 1999, issue of the journal Circulation, suggested holiday stress and overindulgence help explain the soaring rate of fatal heart attacks in December and January.

Yet it is possible to survive the holiday frenzy without feeling frantic — if you know how. Here are top tips from some of the nation’s leading stress experts:

Stress Master: Psychologist Alice Domar, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and author of the book Self-Nurture.

Strategy: Cut yourself some slack!

Tip 1. Shop so you don’t drop. Domar’s ritual is to take a personal day off work in the middle of the first week of December. “I hit the mall as soon as the doors open, carrying nothing but an empty backpack and my credit cards,” she says. “The crowds haven’t yet descended, the salespeople are still helpful, and there’s plenty of stuff on the shelves. When I’ve bought too much to carry, I go back to the car, drop it off, and go back in again. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish.” If she finds something she really likes — say a hurricane lamp at Crate and Barrel — she’ll buy an assortment in different colors and give one to each of several people on her list. “My sister-in-law, my friend, and my co-worker never talk to each other,” she says. “They’ll never know.” And of course, catalogs and Internet retailers make it possible to shop without leaving the comforts of home.

Tip 2. Treat yourself. All that hustling and bustling can drain you. Domar suggests that for every 10 presents you buy for others, you select a little indulgence for yourself. “I might go with a little Godiva truffle or a Dave Barry calendar — nothing expensive, just a little pick-me-up.” She also recommends regular exercise and making time for a movie date with your partner, a soak in a hot tub, or a solitary evening of soothing music.

Tip 3. Skip the Nutcracker. Or if that is simply too much heresy, go ahead and take in the ballet but forgo the big menorah lighting, or the Santa parade, or the holiday ice show. The point is, don’t drag yourself or your family from event to event. Think quality, not quantity. Domar recommends allowing each child to pick two events as must-dos. “The Nutcracker will be around next year, I promise,” she says.

Tip 4. Stretch the season. If December is a hotbed of socializing, the weeks that follow tend to be a wasteland. That’s why Domar proposes people schedule their holiday bashes for mid-January (her own office party is set for Jan. 14.) By then, guests actually welcome the idea of a party, and you’ll have the luxury of time to put it together. And just because the last Scotch pine needle has been vacuumed out of the carpet doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a holiday theme. Domar suggests asking guests to bring a fruitcake and wear the tackiest present they received.

________

Stress Master: Nutritional biochemist Judith Wurtman, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of the book Managing Your Mind & Mood Through Food.

Strategy: Eat to stave off tension as well as hunger.

“Imagine explaining your angst over failing to create a Martha Stewart table to a really empathetic giraffe.”

Tip 1. Carbo-charge your body. It’s 4 p.m. on Dec. 23, and you’re stuck in an interminable line at the post office. It’s time for a snack, but not just any snack. Wurtman says the secret is choosing carbohydrates with low or no fat — maybe a handful of pretzels or, if you crave something sweet, a few Tootsie Rolls or jellybeans. “At least 30 grams’ worth — look at package labels to get amounts,” Wurtman advises. Her research over several years shows such carbohydrates boost the powerful brain chemical serotonin, which helps the body feel calmer. Curiously, one snack to avoid at such times is fruit: fructose is the only carbohydrate that appears not to stimulate serotonin.

Tip 2. Eat mini-meals. When you eat stress-reducing foods, the effects last only about two to three hours. If you’re up against chronic holiday stress, try eating several small meals or snacks throughout the day instead of a couple of big ones. Just be careful to keep your total intake of calories about the same.

Tip 3. Zero in on stress points and fix them. The holidays often generate a vicious cycle: Stress causes people to eat more and richer foods, which causes them to gain weight, which makes them feel even more stressed. “It’s better to prevent or deflect the stress than deal with it,” says Wurtman. For example, say you’re a working mom who comes home at 6 p.m. to begin your second job, and you eat because you feel overwhelmed. Instead, plan ahead. Give your family written instructions on what to do to help you, and give yourself 10 guilt-free minutes of time-out to relax.

______

Stress Master: Robert Sapolsky, professor of biological sciences and neurology at Stanford University and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Disease and Coping.

Strategy: Put whatever’s stressing you in perspective. Chances are your stress level isn’t high because you’re running for your life from an attacking lion. So just imagine explaining your angst over failing to create a Martha Stewart table to a really empathetic giraffe. If your holiday woes would sound like utter nonsense to the giraffe, you’re describing stressors of your own making and you can conquer them.

Tip 1. Ratchet down stress by lowering expectations. Remember, those Norman Rockwell families are strictly two-dimensional — don’t expect them to bear much resemblance to your own family gatherings. “For people living at the other end of the country, this is often one of the few or only times of the year to see some people of great significance,” Sapolsky observes. The result: “this stressful pressure to cram all this emotion and bonding and intimacy into a very hectic few days.” Expect some irritations and imperfections, then relax and have a good time in spite of them.

Tip 2. Don’t go it alone. While the notion of holiday stress conjures up visions of jam-packed mall parking lots and tense dinners with the in-laws, many people suffer stress because they face the holidays by themselves. Sapolsky advises getting proactive by connecting with family, friends, even others who face similar isolation.

Tip 3. Remember the reason for the season. Some people find the holiday season stressful because it seems robbed of its authentic meaning. Instead they are awash in a culture conspiring to crassly cash in on something that once had great personal significance. The antidote, says Sapolsky: “Take the time and effort to reaffirm what this season really means to you, whether it is about family, community, religion. Go help someone in need, to help yourself reaffirm what it is all about.”

_____

Stress Master: Eric Brown, spokesman for the Center for a New American Dream, a Maryland-based, nonprofit organization urging Americans to shift their consumption to improve quality of life and the environment.

Strategy: Learn how to have more fun with less stuff! (A 1998 poll commissioned by the center and conducted by EDK Associates of New York found that 44% of Americans feel pressure to spend more than they can afford at holiday time, and only 28% report the holidays leave them feeling “joyful.”)

Tip 1. Give the gifts money can’t buy.
By getting creative, you can avoid the stresses of traffic, crowded department stores — and that lingering dissatisfaction that you spend a small fortune on generic gifts. Four out of five people say they would prefer a photo album filled with childhood memories to a store-bought gift. “My 65-year-old mother has all the stuff she needs, so I gave a donation in her honor to the county food bank,” says Brown. “People increasingly are finding new ways to think outside the box — to give gifts that show the relationship between the giver and the recipient.” Other ideas: Adopt a koala bear in a child’s name at the local zoo. Create an audio or video of a family elder reminiscing for their children and grandchildren. Illustrate and write a homemade story featuring your child as the main character. Make coupons redeemable for backrubs or homemade brownies. Or write to celebrities, asking for an autograph dedicated to the recipient.

Tip 2. Lick overspending. It takes an average of four months for a credit card user to pay off stress-inducing holiday bills, according to a 1999 report by the American Bankers Association. Instead try this: Decide how much you can afford to spend for each person on your list, then put that amount in cash in an envelope with that person’s name on it. When the envelope is empty, you’re done – no exceptions. Or freeze your credit cards in a jug of water, or mail them to a friend until the holidays are history. “The more you can inject a sense of humor and make it a game, the easier it’ll be to live within your means,” Brown says.

Tip 3. Follow your holiday bliss. “My wife and daughter and I actually prefer to just go away,” Brown says. “We rent a cabin for Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the day after. It forces us leave all the distractions behind and just enjoy being together. We get in touch with what the holidays are all about.”

The Power of Positive Attitude
by On November 28, 2012

By Remez Sasson

Positive attitude helps you cope more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, and makes it easier to avoid worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes into your life, and makes them happier, brighter and more successful.

With a positive attitude you see the bright side of life, become optimistic, and expect the best to happen. It is certainly a state of mind that is well worth developing.

Positive attitude manifests in the following ways:

Positive thinking.

Constructive thinking.

Creative thinking.

Expectation of success.

Optimism.

Motivation to accomplish your goals.

Being inspired.

Choosing happiness.

Not giving up.

Looking at failure and problems as blessings in disguise.

Believing in yourself and in your abilities.

Displaying self-esteem and confidence.

Looking for solutions.

Seeing opportunities.

A positive attitude leads to happiness and success and can change your whole life. If you look at the bright side of life, your whole life becomes filled with light. This light affects not only you, and the way you look at the world, but it also affects your whole environment and the people around you. If it is strong enough, it becomes contagious.

The benefits of a positive attitude:

Helps achieving goals and attaining success.

Success achieved faster and more easily.

More happiness.

More energy.

Greater inner power and strength.

The ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others.

Fewer difficulties encountered along the way.

The ability to surmount any difficulty.

Life smiles at you.

People respect you.

Negative attitude says: you cannot achieve success.

Positive attitude says: You can achieve success.

If you have been exhibiting a negative attitude and expecting failure and difficulties, it is now the time to change the way you think. It is time to get rid of negative thoughts and behavior and lead a happy and successful life. Why not start today? If you have tried and failed, it only means that you have not tried enough.

Developing a positive attitude that will lead you to happiness and success:

– Choose to be happy.

– Look at the bright side of life.

– Choose to be and stay optimistic.

– Find reasons to smile more often.

– Have faith in yourself and in the Power of the Universe.

– Contemplate upon the futility of negative thinking and worries.

– Associate yourself with happy people.

– Read inspiring stories.

– Read inspiring quotes.

– Repeat affirmations that inspire and motivate you.

– Visualize only what you want to happen.

– Learn to master your thoughts.

– Learn concentration and meditation.

Following even only one of the above suggestions, will bring more light into your life!

6 Ways to be Positive in Any Situation
by On November 1, 2012

The power of remaining positive, whatever the situation, can never be underestimated. We are all here for a limited period of time, is it worth it to spend any of that time in can be so hard on ourselves though social conditioning. I am guilty of being extra tough on myself, but have learned over time to recognize my gifts rather than finding false and self-imposed inadequacies.

Inventory of Memories – Keep an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative and cheerful. When you were at peace with the world. Whenever you are in a negative frame of mind, consciously and deliberately pick up any leaf out of this inventory and dwell on it. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.

Criticizing Detox Diet – Change your approach and attitude. See if you can stop criticizing others and situations. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding.

Whether you are positive or negative, the situation does not change. So, we mind as well be positive.

Article

Happiness Is Within Us
by On October 17, 2012

By Remez Sasson/Website

What is happiness, and why do we constantly run after it? What does it mean to be happy? What is the difference between happiness and pleasure?

It is a hot summer day, and you feel thirsty. A friend offers you a refreshing cold glass of lemonade. How do you feel when you see the glass? How do you feel when to drink it?

Will you describe your feeling as happiness or as pleasure? I believe you will say it is a feeling of pleasure. There is a connection between these two kinds of feelings, and sometime one evokes the other, but they are not the same thing. Pleasure is more dependent on the five senses while happiness is independent of them.

Pleasure is a good feeling that comes from eating good food, watching a good movie, feeling the warm caressing rays of the sun on a winter day, enjoying a party, etc. Pleasure has to do with enjoyment through the five senses and is dependent on circumstances, objects and people.

When you are happy, minor unpleasant events usually do not disturb you. When you are unhappy, you feel as if everything is against you. You might compensate for this, by eating chocolate and sweets, because this gives you pleasure; yet you stay unhappy.

You may smoke a cigarette, because it gives you pleasure, but this does not make you happier, especially, if you acknowledge the fact that smoking is not good for your health.

There are people, who fear that if they experience happiness, it will be soon taken away from them. They regard it as a temporary state, and are afraid to experience it, lest they lose it. In this way, they avoid the pain that might follow when it goes away. They believe that happiness is always followed by unhappiness.

Others might go to the extreme of not seeking it at all, because they feel unworthy of it, and prefer to avoid it. There are also people, who always look behind their back, wondering wherefrom will come the blow.

The physical world is always in a state of flux. At each moment, a new thing is being created, sustained, changed, transformed and then destroyed. This is the normal state of affairs, and no one can change it. If we attach ourselves to a certain situation, we are bound to experience unhappiness sooner or later. No situation remains as it is. These are the laws of nature. When circumstances change, and the changes are not to our liking, we experience unhappiness. On the other hand, if we exercise detachment, nothing can influence our moods. Then, external events have nothing to do with our inner joy and peace of mind.

From the moment of birth, there is yearning for happiness, and endless race towards it. It is considered as one of the greatest positive attributes. If we analyze our actions, we see that all of them are in some way or another, happiness oriented. Everyone wants to feel good and happy. When circumstances and events are to our liking, we are happy, and when they are not, we feel miserable.

When do we experience this coveted state? This feeling emerges when some problem has been solved, a burden has been lifted or a fear has disappeared. We also experience it when or a desire or ambition has been fulfilled. We also experience it at a time we acquire or receive something we wanted very much. It comes when we are assured of the love of someone dear to us, when we win a sum of money in the lottery, or when we get good grades at school.

What happens at these times? The tension that has been accumulating while we were pursuing, waiting, expecting or desiring is released. There is no more any need to run after the coveted object or evade a fear. Some tension, worry or burden has been lifted. At this moment happiness appears. It is a kind of feeling that erupts from the inside.

When something happens that puts to an end or brings to a happy conclusion, a search, a worry, a fear or anything else, our minds become calm. We then have no need to think, worry or desire the object, event or circumstances. There is a kind of a mental relaxation, which makes happiness manifest.

The room of the mind was filled with desire, worry or fear. Now the room has been emptied, and the mind freed of the compulsion of thinking about them. There is freedom, a feeling of ease, inner peace and joy.

Watch your mind next time you experience happiness and see what is happening. You will find out that the mind becomes quiet, and its constant chatter stops for a while. You will see that happiness emerges from the inside.

Happiness Is Inside Us And Is Attainable

On a cloudy day, the clouds hide the sun, but the sun is always there. The clouds of thoughts, worries and desires cover and hide our happiness. We have to disperse them in order to experience it. Then the happiness that is inherent in the soul and is always there shines forth.

Happiness is not something far away and unattainable, and it does not depend on circumstances, objects or events. It is an inseparable part of our consciousness, but hidden and covered from sight, by our thoughts, desires and worries.

The experience of mystics down the ages has been that happiness is inherent in our souls; it is not something to be gained anew. All that is necessary to do is to uncover it.

If we can silence the chatter of the mind, we will experience this inherent happiness. It is dependent only on one thing, the silencing of thoughts. This means that in order to experience happiness intentionally we have to make our mind silent, calm and relaxed.

What have all the mystics, yogis and saints pursued down the ages? They have not been looking for pleasure, but have been searching for inner happiness that no one could take from them no matter where they were. It is independent of outer events.

This happiness I am talking about is constant and eternal. It is our nature; only our thoughts stand in our way of experiencing it. Dispel the thoughts and you are happy.

You cannot see a treasure at the bottom of a stormy and muddy lake though it is there. Make the water still, and let the mud sink, and you see the treasure. The treasure is there whether you see it or not. So is happiness. It is always here, only covered and hidden.

Now you may ask, what one has to do in order to gain happiness? One of the key factors is detachment. Endeavor to be detached, and do not let your feelings be influenced by each little blow of the wind. If you can convince yourself to stay relaxed and calm in every situation, this will be the first step.

Activities such as learning to concentrate and control the mind, developing will power and self-discipline, practicing meditation and reading spiritual literature bring happiness, because they calm the mind.

In the East, they say that if you are in the presence of a realized teacher, your thoughts slow down, and you experience elation and bliss. The mind of such a teacher is completely calm and undisturbed by thoughts. It is also very powerful and causes the minds of people in his vicinity to behave similarly, as if influencing them by telepathy. The mind being calm, it stops being an obstacle to the welling of happiness.

Happiness is here, within you. Just calm your mind and stay relaxed, and you will experience it. You do not need to wait for it to come. You do not need outer circumstances and events to bring it. A calm and detached mind is the gate to true happiness. It is your decision to choose happiness.

Read more articles about happiness at our blog.

 

 

Well-Being: How You Doing?
by On October 10, 2012

You probably hear it almost every day, and for folks that are pretty social, maybe many times during the day…

to PCA my? Bronzer gradually been

propecia cost per month

like like me reminding while money

aiobp.org drugs

and experimented bristles bags my.

a little more detail about some aches or a personal situation, but those are rare and usually superficial.

So how are we really doing? The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index can give us a snapshot or a trend line of the pulse of the nation or a subset, but how about on an individual basis? How often do we take the time to truly take stock of our own well-being?

While we generally have a good sense of our physical health, at least when symptoms are present, how conscious are we of our emotional and social health, areas that are core to our well-being?

Emotional health touches on areas most of us don’t often or ever consider: our self-awareness, taking time to be more mindful, being in touch with our feelings and sensing how they can guide or impact our behaviors. With our daily lives moving at a pace where it’s hard to keep up, it takes some effort to really pay attention and listen to the “beneath the surface” components that can be suppressed by our transactional days.

And in our interactions with others, whether colleagues, friends or family, the dimension of social health comes into play in how we choose to interface on an individual or group basis. What do you bring into each of these relationships, in those moments of interaction you share? How we initiate, communicate, respond and choose to agree and support or disagree and oppose help make up our social health. With whom we opt to invest our time and energy in relationships helps guide our well-being in positive or negative ways.

As a leader in well-being, we need to do more to promote our insights and ideas around social and emotional health, to provide deeper and more meaningful context about these elements of well-being so there can be greater understanding and appreciation of these areas.

As individuals, we can give ourselves a gift by making efforts to better know our own well-being, to make time to build better self-awareness, both for our own reflection and in interrelating with others.

So think about this, the next time someone says to you, “How you doing?”

Written by: Frank Hone

7 Tips for Improving Your Memory as You Age
by On September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012 by Staff Writer

Where are your keys? Did you shut the garage door? What’s that guy’s name again? Everyone has some memory lapses, but as you age, it seems like they get more frequent and take longer to snap out of. While there’s no way to keep your brain (or your body, for that matter) young forever, you can keep your brain as sharp as possible by using some of these tricks. It may not be a steel trap exactly, but your memory will definitely be better.

Take care of your body:

 

Not only will you look and feel a lot better if you exercise regularly, but your brain will feel the effects too. Exercising increases the blood flow to your brain, particularly in the area that controls memory, and may even help the formation of new brain cells. Even people who aren’t fit can start to reap the benefits in a few months or less. Just another reason to dust off your old tennis shoes and hit the gym!

 

 

 

Eat smart:

 

Of course you have to maintain a healthy diet to get the nutrients your body needs and keep your weight down, but you should also consider your brain’s health when meals or snack times roll around. Many foods can protect your brain and improve how it functions. Try incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet by eating more salmon, tuna, walnuts, and eggs. Also try some antioxidants, like blueberries, broccoli, and carrots. Remembering to eat your vegetables won’t be so hard with your improved memory.

 

 

 

Take supplements:

 

It can be hard to eat everything you’re supposed to on a regular basis, so if you find your pantry lacking in the good foods you just read about, you can add a memory-boosting supplement to your daily routine. Fish oil supplements contain the Omega-3 fatty acids you can get from food, Vitamin E can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and Asian ginseng may benefit memory. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about adding these to your diet.

 

 

 

Eliminate stress:

 

Studies have shown that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can make your memory foggy. The good news is that you typically have to be stressed out for several days in a row for the effect to be significant, and your memory should bounce back after you’ve de-stressed for a week. You may not be able to get rid of every stressful situation in your life, but eating smart, cutting out unnecessary commitments, and even learning to meditate can help reduce your stress significantly. Remember to give yourself some time to unwind or you could be hurting your chances for success.

 

 

Get organized:

 

This tip applies to all areas of your life, from your home to your schedule. While organization doesn’t improve brain function directly, it can help you cope with memory lapses and give you fewer things to commit to pure memory. An organized home or office will keep you from losing things and let you rely on logic if you don’t remember putting something away. Making lists and writing down plans will help you stay on track in your daily activities without wasting time or forgetting something important.

 

 

 

Use all your senses:

 

When you’re learning something new or even just trying to record in your mind where you parked, try engaging as many senses as possible. You form stronger memories when you use more senses. Look around, take a deep breath, and listen to the ambient sounds. Touch something or have a taste if it’s appropriate. Taking a moment to use more than one sense will help you recall this memory more easily as you will have involved more areas of your brain.

 

 

 

Socialize:

 

Keeping your memory sharp doesn’t have to mean sitting in a quiet room studying, reading, and doing crossword puzzles as you age. In fact, people with active social lives tend to have delayed memory loss. Engaging in society by interacting with friends, family, or civic organizations can offset the risk of mental decline, especially in those who have had less formal education. So join that bingo club or start volunteering to make your community better. You could be improving yourself at the same time.

 

gratitude in the everyday
by On September 5, 2012

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 2:44 pm by Karen from Chookooloonks

My friend Jyl Pattee wrote a post today about gratitude being the key to a happy life — and I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve mentioned before that I think that gratitude is imperative to finding joy in your life, and for getting through the hard times.  But to be honest, it can be difficult, even for me, to find something new to be grateful for every day.  Can you imagine? Think of the pressure of having to create something new every single day of your life to be thankful for? I’m tired just thinking about it.

Instead, I admit it: I’m often thankful of the same things over, and over, and over again.  This week, my daughter has returned to school, which means that our lives have returned to the normal routine that flows in our house pretty much every single day for 9 months.  And I have to say, as boring as this sounds, I’m very grateful for routine. I’m grateful for the comfort and sense of stability it provides.  My life might be mundane to most, but it’s my life, and my family, and we’ve worked hard to create the little rituals that bring us peace every day.  For example, I’m grateful for:

  • my morning cup of tea (sweetened over-enthusiastically with honey)
  • turning on my twinkle lights in my office weekday mornings — signifying it’s time to get to work
  • reading the classics to Alex when she gets home from school (this is actually assigned homework from her teacher!)
  • journaling with Alex
  • witnessing Alex’s growing habit of reading in bed to herself before lights-out every night
  • and Friday night movie night

You see, I’m of the opinion that mundane habits like this — this little rituals that we create for ourselves — are what make for a happy life.  And I hope that this helps my daughter have grateful memories of her childhood, despite how un-extraordinary all of these little events are.

How about you — what is it about your everyday that you’re grateful for?

 

 

Want Some Guaranteed Laughs?… Watch This Video…
by On August 16, 2012

I just love this video!! Everytime I watch it, without fail, I laugh and I laugh hard!! One of the lessons I get from this video (and there are several) is that everyday we have a CHOICE to bring joy, laughter and love. What is your choice today? Share some laughs and pass this video on…

Happy Laughs!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YevIvsBTEiQ&feature=youtu.be

What do YOU learn the most from Olympians?
by On August 8, 2012

by Jana Owen on August 7, 2012

I had the pleasure and fortune of attending some of the Olympic games last week in London. I’m hooked….I will be attending many more. The energy, activities, culture, comradery, and events were thrilling! But besides that, there is so much to admire about Olympians, and learn from.

I have asked several people – What do you admire most about Olympic athletes? Most people mentioned the discipline or the belief in their own achievement. But there are SO many things we can learn from these talented athletes.

 

 

These are a few of things I wanted to take away from the Olympics.

1. The patience for delayed gratification. I can be impatient with many day to day experiences….but it is a different mindset to be patient with your long term goals. These athletes work most of their lives to compete in something that may take seconds! WOW! Thinking about that makes me feel silly about feeling frustrated when I don’t see the results that I want after dieting for one week! Whatever your long term goals are – be patient with you, and know that it will come. Have a vision, have a plan, and work diligently….it will come.

2. The power of visualization. My coaching clients will tell you I am adamant about this. The power of the mind to create your reality after creating the vision is astonishing to me. It is extremely important to visualize the outcome of ANY situation worth thinking about. Athletes will tell you over and over….this is something they do on a regular basis. Do you have a meeting with your boss coming up? Visualize how you want to feel after. Do you have a big sale you are trying to achieve? Visualize how you will feel when it is a success….and what that process looks like. VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO LOOK LIKE.

3. Feeling truly happy for others’ successes. In competitive situations it is easy to be envious, or even self-righteous about losing. We see ‘sore losers’ many times in the Olympics. We have felt envy about a co-workers success (especially when you feel you worked so hard for the same outcome). Sibling rivalries anyone?? Imagine if you could find true authentic gratitude and happiness for someone else’s achievement….imagine how different this world would look! You will get back what you give and sharing ones success is necessary for your successes to be fulfilling or even to come to fruition at all. You can dispute that, but it is what I believe. And it just feels better!

Thank goodness there is 4 years to plan my trip to Rio! But I will try to remember all the things I observed during these games. We can learn from everyone around us, but especially these marvelous athletes with dreams they are chasing after every single day.

GO USA!

Why Your Morning Routine Can Make or Break Your Career
by On July 23, 2012

Onlinecollege.org

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Think of your home as your base camp of operations from which you attack the day. Are you adequately arming yourself for the skirmishes you’ll face before sundown? Is your mind sharp and focused, ready to solve problems, prove your worth, and advance your career over the next hill? Whether we realize it or not, all of us have a morning routine. Most of us craft this routine around maximizing sleep: wake up as late as possible to still make it in on time, get ready quick, eat fast, and go. But we’re here to tell you why your work life will prosper when you treat your morning with the respect it deserves.

MORNING IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO GET THINGS DONE:

The book on radical leadership you’ve been meaning to read. The online course you’ve been meaning to start. The blogs with the great work advice (ahem) you’ve been meaning to catch up on. All of these are activities that would be so good for you as a person and an employee, and you’re so going to undertake them when you have time. But haven’t you heard, it’s the people who make time who have it? The most successful people recognize that as the day goes on, the number of time-suckers vying for your attention only multiplies. Morning is the best time to do these projects, when you’ve got the fresh willpower and the promise of a new dawn.

 

IT’S A CHANCE TO ATTACK THE DAY PROACTIVELY:

By definition, being proactive means acting ahead of time to plan or strategize for an expected difficulty. If you don’t make a habit of doing this in the morning, you run the risk of dealing with problems reactively and on-the-fly, without the benefit of a solution in mind. The metaphor for this approach is “putting out fires,” which implies some stuff is going to get burned while you’re trying to find the extinguisher. CEO Steve Murphy recommends simply writing out your thoughts for the day on a yellow pad each morning.

IT AFFECTS THE REST OF YOUR DAY’S PERFORMANCE:

Your stress levels are highest in the morning. If your routine consists of waking up rushed, throwing your things together, grabbing coffee and a toaster pastry, and launching out the door, you’ve perfectly prepared yourself to be harried by the time you get to work and need to focus. By mid-afternoon the adrenaline has worn off, and you’re drained. Creating a morning routine that is slow-paced gives your stress level time to come down while you make and enjoy a healthy breakfast (see below), read, pray or meditate, see your kids off to school, and generally prepare for the day. To give yourself more morning time, get chores like making your lunch or ironing what you’re going to wear out of the way the night before.

EXERCISING IN THE MORNING GIVES YOU THE MOST BENEFIT:

Obviously anything that makes you physically healthier helps you in all areas of life, and work is no exception. But exercising after work at the end of the day involves the danger of interfering with sleep: the evidence indicates a tough workout within two hours of bedtime can hurt your ability to fall asleep. Research also suggests people who exercise in the morning are better at making a habit of it. They also get a mood boost that last for hours, even after a 20-minute workout, according to studies.

 

 

MORNING IS HOME TO THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY:

Again, being in good health has no downside for your career. And though some of those old phrases we’ve all heard are bunk, this one is absolutely true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy morning meal improves your concentration and mental performance, both great benefits for work life. If your career involves employing muscles below the neck, there’s good news for you as well, as you increase endurance and strength with the right breakfast foods. In the “breaking your career” category, we have to put drinking coffee. Sorry, but java can lead to higher stress levels, cause anxiety, raise your blood pressure and heart rate, and interfere with sleep. All the more reason to give yourself time to wake up naturally in the morning.

IT CAN HELP YOU KEEP YOUR LIFE PLAN IN MIND:

As we mentioned, morning can be the time you do those things you’ve intended to do for a while. While some of them may be minor odds and ends, some of them may involve major goals you want to achieve in your life, like writing a novel or becoming bilingual. Yes, you can work on these on the weekends if you’re dedicated, but even if you do there are still five days out of the week where you could be making progress on your long-term plans. A solid morning routine lets you step back from thoughts of the immediate future and really consider where your career is headed and what you need to do today to continue moving in the right direction.

 

IT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR CREATIVITY:

If you’re counting on coming up with a brilliant business idea or money-saving practice to get you promoted, you could be hurting your chances by the way you start the day. The best elements for fostering creativity take place, you guessed it, in the morning. A recent study published in scientific journal Thinking and Reasoning showed that in the time after rising when you’re half-awake and unfocused, you often make connections between things that you probably would not make when you’re fully awake. Rushing through this time limits your chances of inspiration striking. Another study in Psychological Science found that “cognitive flexibility” is highest when our mood is positive, as it is when we take our time getting ready and are not stressed.

A HEALTHY ROUTINE REQUIRES GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP:

Once you start cutting into your sleep time in the morning to get up earlier, you’ll have to go to bed earlier to keep from feeling groggy during the day. The beauty here is that many researchers believe each hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two hours after 12 a.m., meaning you get all those health benefits in twice the proportion when you get to bed earlier, notably your ability to learn and remember, an improvement in your mood, and a healthy immune system so you don’t have to take as much sick time.