The #1 Thing You Must Do to Manage Your Time

One of the leading personal challenges people face is time management. A recent survey I did put this in the top 5 list. We manage our time based on what’s important to us. We are all given the same 24 hours in a day – It’s the one fair disbursement in life. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have, no one can buy or steal even one more hour in the day.  So why then, do some people seem able to accomplish everything on their to-do list, and others can’t hardly get anything done?

Hopefully you read last week’s post on motivation. If so, you’ll recall that we are motivated by our emotions. One in particular, fear of pain, is an example. We will go to great lengths to avoid pain, but don’t seem as motivated to achieve joy. Such is the human experience. This is an important tidbit when it comes to time management though. We show up to work because of the pain we’d experience if we didn’t. Dirty looks from co-workers, a stern talking-to from the boss, job loss and loss of income are just a few of the “pains” we are trying to avoid.

All told, however, we can be motivated by things that bring us joy.  Take the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars. That was one of the most widely watched TV programs. Those viewers were likely not watching because they were trying to avoid pain. They were likely watching to gain some pleasure.

There is a common thread in both examples – showing up to work and watching a TV show. For most of us, both of those things happen at certain times. If you have to be to work at 8am, you get to work at 8am. If your show starts at 8pm, you show up to watch the show at 8pm.  If someone tries to stop you from either endeavor, say a chatty neighbor, you will probably say (or just think), “I’m going to be late!” and do your best to move them along.

Assuming you already know what it is you want to spend your time on, there is one crucial thing you MUST do to better manage your time – schedule what’s important to you. That’s it. Doing that one thing will make you more productive and more in control of managing your time. I’ll use myself as an example here. In addition to a full-time job, I have my coaching practice, and I’m attending school to complete my degree. With all of these responsibilities I have not had the time to exercise. I have repeatedly told myself (and anyone that would listen) that I just don’t have time for it. As the pounds started to add up, I said as soon as I was done in July, I could get back to a healthy routine. I just didn’t have one moment to spare. And I didn’t…until the “pain” became unbearable. I didn’t like the number on the scale, how I looked or how I felt. Guess who found some time to plan meals for healthier eating and to take time each day for some exercise? Yup, that would be me.

I knew I had to make this a priority in my life, so I began scheduling time to prepare meals one day each week. Seriously, I blocked out a chunk of time each Sunday that was non-negotiable. I began walking at the same times each day to get some physical exercise into my day, and I began tracking my food consumption at every meal. Having these scheduled activities are the only reason I’ve seen success. Authors who are writing books schedule time each day to write; Runners schedule time to run. And the list goes on. Don’t rely on the chance that you’ll have time left over at the end of your day – you likely won’t. And even if you do, are you even going to feel like doing what you need to do then? Probably not.

Now tell me, what one task will you benefit from scheduling into your day? Share in the comments.

If you would like to partner up and create a plan that will have you doing what’s truly important to you, and FINALLY living a life by design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

How to Get Motivated

One of the most common challenges I hear when someone is looking to improve an area of their life is they just don’t have the motivation. So instead of doing what they know they need to, they wait…and wait…and wait. As soon as motivation shows up, they will be ready. But here’s the thing. It’s not motivation’s job to show up. It’s your job to go get it. Think about Nike. Is their slogan, Do It When You Want To? Nope. It’s Just Do It! Whether you want to or not. You know you need to, you know it would help you achieve your goal. So Just Do It!

Of course, if it were that easy, I could end the post right there, but it’s not. So how do you find motivation? Where does motivation hang out? Motivation has some friends, and often, if you find them, they will lead you right to the boss.

  • Threat – That’s right. One of motivation’s closest companions is Threat. When pain (or threat of pain) seems eminent, motivation seems to show right up. Many a cancer scare has caused people to quit smoking. When we feel threatened, either of losing something we value or not getting something we want (like a promotion), we suddenly find what we’ve been looking for all along.
  • Habit – When you get into the habit of doing something, motivation tends to slide right in, almost undetected. Start some good habits that will lead you to accomplishing your goal. When you get into good habits, you don’t need to think about it anymore – you’re just doing it.
  • The Feels – Good ol’ emotions. Emotions are what drive us, not our logical thoughts. Get your feelings involved in the search for motivation. Why would accomplishing your goal make you happy? Why would not accomplishing your goal make you mad or sad? Get deep here and really paint a picture with just how happy/mad/sad you would be.
  • Peer Pressure – Announce your goals to all your friends, family, and especially your enemies. Doing so will arm you with a bunch of accountability buddies. You tell everyone you’re cutting sugar out of your diet, there’s a good chance you won’t want to be seen at the local ice cream shop.
  • Planning – Schedule time to do what you need to do, and try to schedule it during your peak time. For example, I am most productive in the morning, so if there are things I know I have to get done, but may not feel like it, I put it on the top of my list. If we do what we need to do only if there is time left over at the end of the day, there’s a good chance it won’t get done.
  • Progress – When we start making progress, motivation tends to show up. If you have a goal to lose 20lbs, those first few lost pounds can really give us the momentum we need to keep on keepin’ on.
  • Reward – Rewarding yourself for milestones reached on your path to goal achievement is a great way to see motivation. Creating mini-goals along the way and planning a reward that you can get excited about will help keep motivation around.

There you have it. 7 ways to get motivation to visit you more. Now don’t just sit there…leave a comment about what your goal is, then get moving and Just Do It!

If you would like to partner up and create a plan that will have you feeling motivated, making progress, and FINALLY accomplishing that goal, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

6 Ways to Promote Yourself When You Hate Self-Promotion

The word self-promotion doesn’t exactly conjure up all sorts of positive images. “Oh yes, please tell me more about yourself…” But self-promotion is often a very important step in achieving the level of success you wish for. This is not just in the workplace – this is anywhere you need people to know what your strengths and experiences are.

Women, in particular, have a very hard time with this. We don’t want to come off as bragging, self-aggrandizing, snobs. Women also tend to dislike other women who are promoting themselves. There’s that, but that’s a blog post for another day. Despite all of these facts, self-promoting is still important and can be beneficial not just to the promoter, but to those they are promoting to as well.

“How could my self-promotion be beneficial to someone else?” Allow me to explain. When someone is promoting themselves correctly, they are doing so in order to share how they may be able to help someone else. For example, if you’re going for a job interview, you are telling the interviewer the strengths, qualities, and experiences you possess that you believe would be most beneficial to them. Sure, you want the job, but your purpose in an interview is to share what you have that will meet their needs. Of course, you can share the typical, “team player, reliable, dependable, hard-working, attention to detail” stuff, but everyone says that. You need to share your unique, specific strengths and experiences.

The question remains how to self-promote without coming across as an arrogant, self-absorbed braggart. This is easier than you think.

  • Share what you enjoy doing – Let’s say you want a senior leader to know some of your accomplishments. You can arrange to meet with them and say something like, “I wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed using my strengths to complete the ABC Project. Project planning is a true passion of mine. Combining my love of that and my strengths with team building really made this project not only successful, but fun and challenging. As you may know, I’m looking to advance within the company and would love to be a part of any future projects that would benefit from those skills.” (Boom!)
  • Talk about the team (kind of) – Share your skills and talents as a contributing piece of a team effort. For example, you could say, “I was fortunate to work with a great team when we developed that community event. The organizing and outreach skills my teammates brought, along with my marketing and public speaking skills really helped us pull off such a successful event.”
  • Ask others to share – When you ask others what their gifts are and how they most like using them, they are likely to return the question your way (like in networking events). This exchanging of information could prove valuable to both of you.
  • Be prepared with details – Once you’ve shared some of your strengths or passions, you may be asked for more details. Be prepared to share hard data. Share the specific benefit of your project, how much money you saved, how many people you served, etc.
  • Use LinkedIn – This social media tool is specifically designed to help people share their strengths and experiences so that they can connect with others who are looking for those skills. Take it a step further and write an article to share with your connections.
  • Practice – As with anything, this will get easier once you practice and create a method of self-promotion that is authentic to you.

Remember, self-promotion is simply a way to get others aware of what you have to offer, how you can help them, and that you have a willingness and desire TO help. You have ideas, experiences, skills, and opinions that are entirely unique to you. They are incredibly valuable, but only if people know what they are.

I know exactly where you can start – HERE! Share a strength, talent, or passion that you have in the comments section! What are your top three strengths/skills?

If you would like to partner up and work on self-promotion, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

 

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

7 Questions to Help You Transform Your Life

This is another time of year filled with holidays and observances. Christians are celebrating Easter; Jewish people are celebrating Passover; and just about all of us are celebrating the long-awaited arrival of Spring. Regardless of your religious beliefs, all three of these occasions share a common theme: Transformation.

Easter signifies the resurrection, or coming back to life after death, of Jesus.  Passover commemorates the freedom Jews could finally enjoy after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. Spring is celebrated for the new growth it is beginning to provide for us.

I hope whichever of these you are celebrating, you are able to do so with those you love. That includes you. If you are alone, you are still in wonderful company! For this time of transformation, I’d like to provide some questions of reflection for you to consider today and throughout the week:

  • How would you like to transform your life?
  • What parts of you or your life need to be “brought back to life?”
  • What parts of you and your life need to be freed from others’ control?
  • What’s something you’d like to see grow and expand in your life?
  • How would you have to change in order to have that kind of transformation?
  • How much more fulfilled would you be if you could make that change happen?
  • What is one small step you could take that would bring you closer to that transformation?

Meditate or pray for guidance on these questions and how you answered them. Close your eyes and visualize how your life would look if you achieved this transformation. Imagine your confidence, your energy, your happiness with this transformation. Then give thanks for all you have right now. Your experiences, thoughts, wishes, ideas, and knowledge are all clues and keys to achieving what you want to achieve. You need only believe that if you seek, you shall, indeed, find.

I wish you a very happy celebration of transformation, whatever that may look like for you!!

If you wish, I’d love to see you share some thoughts on transformation in the comments section.

If you would like to partner up and get some support on transforming into the best version of yourself, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

7 Tips to Keep Resentment Out of Your Life

Resentment is incredibly damaging not only to relationships, but to the one carrying the resentment. What’s surprising to many is that resentment isn’t born from someone else’s behavior. Resentment comes from within and grows quickly with unspoken communication. Many a relationship has come to an end with one side relatively clueless about resentment that had been building for years. Worse, is when that resentment is never released and the one carrying it just keeps drinking its poison.

In order to eliminate resentment, we have to shine a light on it. Resentment is like “emotional mold” – it grows and thrives in dark places. The question then becomes, “How?” How can we prevent and eliminate resentment? So glad you asked!

  • Get it Out – Getting your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and out into the open will stop resentment from growing. Talk about what’s on your mind soon after it shows up for you. You can wait for a bit while you figure out the best way to communicate your feelings and concerns, but waiting too long can give resentment just the time it needs to grow. That being said, even if a lot of time has passed, once you recognize resentment, it’s time to say something. Try, “I just realized that something happened between us that is really weighing on me and I’d like to talk it out with you.”
  • Stop Replaying – Often when we feel we’ve been wronged in some way, we just keep replaying the offense. Over, and over, and over in our mind. Each time we do this, we are living it again. Our stress hormones increase as does our resentment. Bad plan.
  • Check-in with an Impartial Person – Try not to make this a friend that will agree with you just because they’re good like that. You want someone to really tell you what they think based on the facts you share. They may provide you with an alternate perspective that resolves the issue altogether.
  • Don’t Fill-in the Blanks – As we replay the offense, we fill-in some of the blanks – like why it happened, why it has a particular meaning (that we come up with). We are building a story that is largely being created in our mind. Only the offender can answer some of these.
  • Don’t Assume It’s Obvious – Often, inconsiderate behavior is so obvious to one person but not another. Assuming someone else sees things the same way we do often leads to resentment. It’s building that story again.
  • Assess How You May Have Contributed to the Situation – Could the other person have acted out of resentment towards you? Are you misinterpreting their actions? Are you being overly sensitive? Did you go into the situation with preconceived ideas that you unconsciously just needed to prove right?
  • Forgive and/or Forget – Sometimes we won’t get the answers we need. This can be very difficult, however, we have to know when to let it go. If we can muster up forgiveness, we should take this route. If the offense is too much to forgive, then work on doing your best to forget it. Neither of these is letting the offender off the hook, it’s actually letting YOU off the hook. Remember, you’re the one carrying around the weight of resentment and drinking its poison over and over.

Emotions have a shelf life before they turn into something else…like bitterness, hurt, or resentment.  You have a lot of control over whether this grows or is taken care of before it becomes an issue. It’s never too late to clean out the resentment in your life. Stop carrying around that burden so you can live a freer, happier life.

Which of these tips have you successfully used in the past? Share in the comments section.

If resentment is weighing you down and you could use some help communicating or releasing it, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

 

5 Steps to Becoming More Courageous

A quality that many of us wish we had more of is courage. Michael Hyatt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to act in spite of my fear.”  Some wish they had more courage when facing new situations, while others wish they had the courage to try daring new things. Still others simply wish they had the courage to communicate what they are thinking.

In order to add more courage to your cocktail of life, you are going to have to do a little work.  Unlike fear, courage isn’t an emotion – it’s an action, a behavior. Like any behavior, practice makes perfect. You have to build this muscle. Listed below are 5 steps to help you build up your strength and start living more courageously.

  1. Get clear on where you want to be more courageous – Is it standing up to a demanding boss, an outspoken friend, or stating your needs to your partner? Perhaps you want to put yourself out there to really catapult your business, step up to a leadership position, or speak at a networking function. You have to have a clear picture of where you want to exhibit this trait. You may have several different scenarios in mind, but focus on one at a time.
  2. Note all the fears associated with this situation – Now that you have a situation in mind, what are all the ways being courageous could go wrong? Seems counter-productive, I know, to go here first, but you have to know exactly what the demon you’re fighting looks like. “I’m afraid my boss will fire me if I stand up to her,” “I’m afraid my husband will get mad,” “I’m afraid people I’m speaking to will think I’m an idiot.” Seriously, write these down!
  3. Ask why – Why would that person be upset with you? Why would they react that way? Take the speaking to a group example: you’re afraid people will think you’re an idiot. Why? Because they’ve heard all this before. Well, now that you know what the problem is, you can take action (and some courage) to fix it. Ask the group leader what other speakers have presented, then you can research that speaker and ensure your content is different and exciting.
  4. Visualize – You can do this two ways. Imagine someone who would slay a situation like this, real or fictional, and picture how they would handle the situation. Or, you can visualize how you will handle the situation – confidently and courageously.
  5. Do – Practice, practice, practice. You can keep visualizing over and over and over, or you can get a buddy to help you practice, but action is necessary to build that muscle. In some cases, you can take baby steps. If you want to build up the courage to say, “no” more, start with little things and work your way up to the big ones.

Just like any other muscle, none of this is going to feel comfortable at first, but let me tell you, if you keep following these steps, they WILL become more comfortable. When you are courageous, you knock your own socks off. You will communicate better and resentment will no longer live at your place (won’t that be nice!!).

Share in the comments a time you were courageous and how that turned out for you.

If you are really serious about becoming more courageous, than an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

 

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

5 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Some recent market research I did uncovered an interesting challenge: about 30% of respondents say they have a hard time sticking to their goals. There are several reasons this can happen, and this week I’m going to share some tips to help you focus and stay on track with your goals. So, if you have quit on a goal and know you still ultimately want to accomplish it, read on.

  • Goals Need Space to Expand – In a recent vlog post, Natalie MacNeil of SheTakesOnTheWorld.com says, “Goals need space to expand.” That is such a true statement. Goals don’t always seem so big when they exist in our minds alone, but once we commit to them, they can take on a life all their own. Make sure you are generous in how much time you commit to your goal. Take for example a goal to go to the gym every day for 1 hour. At first thought, it’s easy to think how doable it is to carve an hour out of our day, yet there’s more to that goal. There’s the time needed to travel to the gym, change into workout clothes, get to our machine, turn our music on, and then any post-gym routine. All of those steps are necessary and take additional time. When we don’t set aside enough time for our goals, we may get frustrated and end up quitting them altogether.
  • Quitting Goals Isn’t Always Bad – Sometimes we have multiple goals that end up conflicting with each other. When that’s the case, narrowing down active goals is a good idea. For example, I am currently finishing up my degree. I spend hours every day working on assignments. I have a goal to complete my degree by July. I also had a goal to get back in shape. However, with the required time I need to put into my studies, and my daily commute to and from work, something had to give. For me, it was the gym. I don’t recommend this, per se, but it was the one that had to be put on the back burner for me, until July. I had to narrow my focus to one main goal.
  • Plan For the I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It Moments – There are going to be moments, plenty of them in fact, when you just don’t feel like doing what you need to for your goal. Maybe your goal has been to save an extra $100 per week by not eating out. Then, as often happens, you have a late day at the office, traffic was terrible, you’ve got a headache, and you just don’t feel like making dinner tonight. Skipping this once isn’t that big of a deal, you’ll just do better next week. Hold up! You know things are going to crop up that make your goal steps HARD. Plan ahead for those – before they happen. Your willpower and discipline muscle is going to be virtually non-existent after a long day at work, traffic, and a headache. Have a Plan B ready. Maybe it isn’t ideal, but a frozen skillet dinner cooks in about 10 minutes and costs a whole lot less than dinner out. If you have one waiting in the freezer for you, you will be less likely to go off the rails.
  • Be S.M.A.R.T – This has probably been said a billion times, but it’s worth repeating. Bad goals usually don’t have good outcomes. Goals need to be very SPECIFIC. “Meet new people” is too vague. “Attend one networking event per week” is much better. Goals must be MEASURABLE. You know if you attended one event each week. Goals must be ATTAINABLE & REALISTIC. If they are too far out of your reach you will quit them. Lastly, goals must be TIMELY. This means you have to give yourself deadlines and milestones. You must be able to see a finish line.
  • Make it Emotional – The decisions we make are mostly driven by our emotions. Therefore, our goals need to be emotionally driven, not just logically based. We have to have a reason that we care about to achieve our goals. We must connect with the emotions we experience at the idea of successfully achieving the goal AND the emotions we would experience if we didn’t. These will be our biggest motivators.

There you have it! 5 Tips to help you stay on track with your goals. Assess how well your goals follow these and adjust as necessary.

Your turn. Tell me in the comments section which of these 5 tips have been most challenging for you.

If you would like to partner up and work on your goals together, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Bringing a Different Side of You to Center Stage

As you know, authenticity is the name of the game, here. However, sometimes we have to fake it, ‘til we make it. I don’t mean faking who we are, rather faking that we believe we can be who we want to be. Here’s an example: have you ever appeared “tougher” than you actually felt? Maybe you stood up to a demanding boss, gossiping friend, or unruly client. This is an example of faking it until you make it. This is often how people improve their self-confidence. They walk taller, appear to be confident, until they realize they really ARE confident.

Celebrities often create alter egos to help them step into a performing or public image. Beyonce had Sasha Fierce who she created to give her shy personality the courage to be sexy and carefree on stage. In 2010, Beyonce said she didn’t need her alter ego anymore as she had finally reached a place where she could merge the two identities together. David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust for a period of time. There have been several other celebrities and performers who took this approach as well.

While we may not need to go to such extremes in our lives, it’s not a bad way to incorporate a persona that we have kept tucked away, too afraid to share with the world.  Merriam-Webster defines alter ego as: “a second self or different version of oneself; a trusted friend; the opposite side of a personality.” So, while Clark Kent had Superman, you could have your own super-persona that you just need to release to the world. Now the question is, how does one go about creating an alter ego?

  • Determine Your Alter Ego’s Positive Characteristics – Do you wish you could appear more confident, playful, direct, or patient? Make a short list of those characteristics you most wish you could more openly express.
  • Consider All the Areas of Your Life – We typically alter our personalities a bit in different areas of our life and exude the qualities most appropriate for varying environments. Being more professional in business settings, parental with our kids, and playful with our friends are just a few examples. Is there a particular area of your life (business, personal, relationships, etc.) that this persona would best fit? Consider which areas you’d like this alter ego to show up in.
  • Breakdown the Benefits This Persona Would Provide – For example, if you introduced a more confident, self-assured version of yourself, how would that make your life better? Perhaps you’d be seen as a leader in your field, or show those in your personal life that you won’t be their doormat. This version could help you get that job you’re seeking, or the grant you applied for.
  • Build Your Alter Ego – Now that you have all that information, start imagining how this persona might express him/herself. How might they react to different situations (use recent ones as a starting point)? Are they extroverted or introverted? How would this persona handle problems, challenges, push-back from others? How would your alter ego celebrate successes, victories, and everyday wins? How does this version dress, look, walk and talk?
  • Name Your Alter Ego – This is the fun part. What name best represents this version of you? Beyonce chose a name that she thought sounded sexy, bold, and brave. What name will yours have? If you’d like to take this to another level, create a social media account using your alter ego and post things that this version of you would enjoy, or start a blog or podcast from the perspective of your alter ego.

When creating and sharing this persona, think of how eventually incorporating this version of you into your everyday life will make you a better person living a happier, more fulfilled and authentic life. That’s the idea here.

When I started this blog, that is very much the angle I took. I didn’t start this work thinking I was the most authentic, positive person who had to teach others how to be, and I still don’t. However, writing about topics that related to living in a true-to-ourselves, kind, and positive way, helped me to improve those areas in my own life. I take my own advice as often as others do. I’m a work in progress. I take steps to liberate myself and I hope you’ll do the same.

Alright, let’s have some fun in the comments section here! Tell me the name of your alter ego and some awesome qualities s/he exhibits!

If you would like to partner up and work on living a life by design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Greatest Hits – Year One

I have to admit that I enjoy Facebook’s “On This Day” posts reminding me of past memories. Yesterday was 4 years since I told the masses that I started this blog. It was a big, scary step for me (in fact, it took me a full month to shout it out), but I took it. 4 years later and I haven’t missed a weekly post since! It is in that spirit that I will be sharing some favorite past posts from Year One. In the very early ones, I had just a handful of subscribers. My writing has evolved some since then, as have my chosen topics, but my message is still the same. Embrace YOU, be kind, and keep creating the version of you that will bring you the most joy. It’s all about living a life by design. I’ve summarized my top 5. You can click the titles to read the entire post. I hope you enjoy these early year flashbacks!


I’m Rubber You’re Glue…For Grown-ups

My very first official post was posted here on February 10th, 2013. Here, I share the challenges I faced working with a supervisor who lacked integrity, honesty, and kindness. It was the feeling of powerlessness I felt at the time, followed by the eventual realization that I still had aspects of life that were in my control. It was that realization that ultimately led to the creation of my private practice and this blog. It’s a pretty raw post, but the main message still applies today. I’m much better at not allowing negative thoughts about others to crowd my personal mind space and this post is a great reminder of this.

 

 


The Limitations of “Labels”

Published on March 31st, 2013, this is a topic I’ve written about several times. I just have a “thing” about labels. This is about not allowing them to define you and how they can sometimes be used against us by others, but also by ourselves when we use them as a crutch or excuse. We’ve all received and applied labels to ourselves. See if you are doing this to your advantage.

 

 

 


Tell Me How You Earned that Victim Badge (Said No One Ever)

This gem was published on October 20th, 2013 and is also a repeat visitor. One of my favorite words and feelings is Empowerment. The perspective offered in this one is from personal experience (I have certainly worn the Victim Badge on occasion). I also know how much better it feels to empower myself and take control of the aspects of life I actually do have control over. There is a bit of tough love in this one, but ultimately empowering. If you are feeling down in the dumps and as if life just keeps throwing you lemons, this is a good read.

 

 

 


Who’s in Your Circle of Influence?

November 10th, 2013 is when I posted this popular topic. An expansion on the old adage, you are the company you keep. I shared how there are some down-sides to this phenomena, but even more so, the benefits if your circle of influence is chosen carefully. There’s a short, fun exercise included that I know you would find beneficial. Think about your closest influencers, then check to see if you are setting yourself up to succeed and achieve.

 

 

 


Living Your Dream, One Step at a Time

This was my post to celebrate the year mark of blogging and entrepreneur-ing (yes, I still make up words). It’s one I’ve had to revisit multiple times since posting it on February 23rd, 2014. It was a reminder that all accomplishments begin with one step. Every success, every dream can only happen when you take that step. It’s a short post, but it reiterates a point I’ve made again and again over the years. It’s also the one I need most when I’m in a rut. Whether you have a business, want a business, or would really just love a summer home, this applies to you, too!

 

 


There you have it – My Top 5 in Year One. I hope you enjoyed these early posts and commented if you felt inspired! Stay tuned for a brand new topic next week!

If you would like to partner up and work on living a life by design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

The 4 Stages of Change and How to Get Through Them

The one constant in life is that nothing is constant (except for taxes, maybe). We deal with change every single day. Some days the change is minor, like a short-lived traffic jam, other days it’s something major, like the end of a relationship. There are all sorts of in-between’s, but ultimately how we deal with change impacts how we get through the tough times.

When any aspect of our life changes or is altered, it slows us down. Voluntary change usually slows us down less than involuntary change, but this isn’t always the case. Until we accept and embrace our new normal, we progress very slowly.  Learning how to navigate through the stages of change will help us get to a happier, more fulfilled place in life.

The four stages of change are Denial, Resistance, Exploration, and Commitment. Let’s look at each one.

Denial – This is head-in-the-sand, this can’t be happening to me, denial.  For minor things, like a short detour, the effect is fleeting. There’s a moment of, “you’ve got to be kidding me” before moving onto the next stage. For more major changes, like losing a job, this may last longer. Thoughts swirl around how “everything seemed fine yesterday.” We will do anything to avoid the pain of accepting the change. This is a pain-filled stage and the sooner we can get out of here (and admit that change has happened), the sooner we can start working on some solutions to improve the situation.

Resistance – Okay, fine, I get it, change has happened. This is a place often filled with anger. If change is the parade, you are the rain! Blame, blame and more blame. That anger needs to be directed somewhere. While this is a tough stage to be in (for you and those around you) it’s also a necessary, self-preservation stage. At some point, you will hit your lowest point here. Resistance may have more to do with resisting how uncomfortable this change feels. It may appear that anger is directed towards the change, but that’s not always the case – it may just be anger at the loss of what was. Other common emotions during this stage include self-doubt and fear. You are experiencing noticeable growing pains. Making note of all the choices you could make, and the pros and cons of each one, can help you get to the next stage.

Exploration – While still a pretty uncomfortable place to be, the clouds are beginning to part. Hope is peeking in and anger is fading out. In this stage you dip a toe in and take a sip of the Kool-Aid. There’s possibility here. Small at first, but growing as you continue through it. You are becoming more open-minded and starting to think of ways to live with the change. The future is again in sight.  Growing pains continue, but you recognize the value they could provide down the road. This is a good place to start consciously thinking of the possible benefits of the change. What is better? What could be better?

Commitment – Ah, you have arrived! That doesn’t mean the moment you step into this stage you are celebrating, only that you have committed to move forward.  Residual pain may exist, but innovation and creativity show up to conjure up ways to move ahead. There is some semblance of control and our speed is back up to par. Growth has occurred and is recognized here. You can see that you aren’t the same person as you were when this all started. You see you’re kind of awesome in this stage. Your confidence is returning and you can see things from a new perspective. You may see how you could have prevented or better handled the change. Growth has occurred and you’re quite possibly better for it.

Change is HARD! In fact, the stages of change are very similar to the stages of grief. Knowing how you react to change in general can be helpful. Don’t be fooled – you don’t gracefully move from one stage to the next. The door doesn’t lock. You may enter one stage, only to take several steps back into the previous stage. If you know you need to spend more time going through the stages than others, embrace it. Be patient with yourself, but don’t live in any one stage for too long. This includes Commitment. Remember, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”  Understanding these changes can help you help yourself and others who are experiencing an uncomfortable change in their life.

Think of a change you are experiencing now, or one you’ve experienced recently. Note what stage you are in and start thinking of ways to move onto the next.

Share in the comments section which stage you tend to get “stuck” in (it’s the Exploration stage for me).

If you would like to focus on living a happier, more fulfilling life, even in the midst of change, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com