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6 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Take Action

ActionTaking action towards your dreams and goals is clearly vital, but it’s not always easy to stay consistent and build momentum. However, taking action is one of those important pieces to the puzzle along with proper planning and the drive to succeed. Those that take action are the ones that see results.

How do you motivate yourself to continue working toward your goals, especially when you face challenges? Although some strategies will motivate you more than others, it’s good to experiment with several different ways of finding your motivation. Then, when the chips are down, you can depend on one of these strategies to get back on track.

Try these techniques to motivate yourself to take action:

Break your goals into smaller more attainable steps. Especially if you’re working toward a bigger goal, break it up into a series of small steps that you know you can achieve. After each step, celebrate and reward yourself for a job well done. With small steps, you’ll be more likely to stay on task because your rewards come often.

Know your limits. You know yourself best and only you can identify your personal limits. If you move too slowly, you’ll know deep down that you could be taking more action. However, when you try to do too much, you risk burnout. Figure out that magic point where you can achieve success without much stress, and you’ll remain motivated to keep taking action.

Take away your distractions.There are some things that might be more likely to distract you than others. Remove yourself from these situations when you know that you need to be taking action. For example, if you’re a social person, perhaps you’ll need to stay away from friends and family during the times you want to work. Also, avoid surfing the net, video games, and television when it’s time to work.

Ask for the help you need.Don’t be afraid to get help from others. There’s only so much you can accomplish in one day all by yourself. It’s true that sometimes you’ll have to accomplish certain things on your own, but if there’s any way at all that someone else can help, consider that possibility and ask them.

Find an activity that energizes you.Sometimes you’ll find that there’s a period in the day where you go into a slump. Maybe you have trouble starting your engines in the morning, or perhaps it’s the afternoon that causes you to feel sluggish. In these times, find some activity to re-motivate and energize you. One thing that can energize you is a good exercise routine. It’ll get your heart rate up and send fresh oxygen to your brain. This will refresh you, help you think more clearly, and make you feel more like doing your work.

Keep a tight schedule.A good schedule and organized plan will help keep you motivated and on track. In the beginning phases of planning your goals, be very specific when deciding what you need to do and when. This way, when you complete a step, you won’t have to spend time figuring out what you’re supposed to do next.

If you want to succeed, you can do it through purposeful action. Just think about what you’ve done to accomplish goals in the past. Chances are you had a plan and followed through. It might not always be easy, but when you remain motivated, you’ll reach whatever goal you set out to accomplish!

Your Turn: What is the next action that you can take to move yourself toward your goals?

Photo Credit: Mark Nockleby

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6 Tips To Balance Your Work And Home Life

BalanceTrying to maintain harmony between your work and home life can be a serious balancing act. You want both to go smoothly, but sometimes you’ll find that you’re paying too much attention to one and neglecting the other.

Instead of just getting frustrated, tell yourself that it’s time to stop struggling! There are some easy strategies you can use to help you.

Try these techniques to better balance your work and home life:

Use a planner.You can save yourself a lot of time just by planning out your days. Include both business and personal commitments to ensure that you’re using your time effectively.

Be flexible. While it’s important to plan a schedule, include room for a certain amount of flexibility. If you’re schedule is too rigid, it’s easy to become stressed out. Leave some time for new commitments and have a Plan B in mind for tasks that could take longer than anticipated.

Maintain communication. Many times you’re not the only one who’s suffering when you’re having trouble balancing your work and home life. Let your work partners know when you need to spend extra time with personal commitments and let your family know when work will be taking up extra time and focus. Make sure that you plan some extra quality time for the neglected party.

Have backups who you can call on. Even with good planning skills, sometimes things come up that tend to throw everything awry. This is when advance planning for someone to back you up will help you to stay on track. If you must be away from work for personal issues, have someone cover for you, if possible, so you’re not overwhelmed when you return to your regular schedule. If you need to spend too much time away from home due to work commitments, plan some fun with relatives or friends and have someone agree to help with things around the house. This way, you won’t face a total mess when you return to your regular home life.

Take breaks. Even on your busiest days, schedule in some time for yourself, even if it’s only 15 minutes of walking. This time gives you a chance to recoup from the stresses of the day and you can return to your tasks renewed and refreshed. Take short breaks at work, too. When you finish your break, you’ll be more productive.

Avoid wasting time with worrying. If you’re worried about home when you’re at work, and worried about work when you’re at home, then you aren’t truly using your time wisely. If your head isn’t in the moment, you’ll have a hard time spending quality time to get things done and moving forward. Focus on what you need to do in each moment and get it done so there’s more time left to do what you really want to do!

There are only a certain number of hours in the day, but you’ll have time for the things that are truly important to you as long as you use your time effectively. Use these tips to help you balance your work and home life, and you’ll find a greater harmony between the two!
Question: What other techniques have you used to better balance your work and home life?

Photo Credit: Kevin Makice

10 Steps To Anger Management

Anger

When someone cuts you off on the freeway, do you give in to your rage? Do you burst out in anger when your child misbehaves?

Anger is a very natural emotion. However, learning to deal with your anger in a positive manner is important, both for your well-being and that of others who are near and dear to you. When you cannot control your temper, you and everyone around you suffer the consequences.

If you struggle with anger management, the good news is: it doesn’t have to be this way! You don’t have to fall victim to an uncontrollable temper. There are anger management techniques that will help you change the way you express this emotion.

These strategies can help you manage your anger in positive ways:

Give yourself a time out.Counting to ten before you speak or act gives you a chance to think first. Take a deep breath or two while you count to ten; this action helps relax your tense muscles and sends a burst of oxygen to your brain for clarity of thought. Removing yourself altogether from the situation gives you more time to calm down and further reduces the risk of an angry outburst. You can return once you’re able to discuss the issue peacefully.

Take some personal space.When the very presence of a specific person makes your blood boil, stay away from them until your frustration dies down. Use the opportunity away from them to work through your feelings and seek a positive solution to your challenge with them.

After you’re calm, express yourself. It’s healthy to express your feelings, even feelings of anger, as long as you do it in a peaceful, positive, and non-confrontational way. Discussing your feelings with the person who upsets you often helps both of you understand each other better so you can work out your issues. Stewing about what is bothering you can make the whole situation worse.

Exercise. Strenuous physical activity is an incredible way to release your anger, especially if you feel you’re at the breaking point. Exercising also releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones, which will help you feel more at peace. Lifting weights, running, and playing sports are great ways to blow off some steam.

Think it through before you tackle the issue. When you’re angry, you’re more likely to say something hurtful that you don’t really mean. Write down what you want to say so you can work through the issue at hand; when your temper is flaring, it’s easy to get sidetracked.

Find a win-win solution.Instead of focusing on what someone did to make you angry, work with him or her to resolve the issue. Finding a solution that you both agree on will allow you to feel satisfied.

Use personal statements when discussing the issue.Avoid criticizing or placing blame. Use statements like, “It makes me feel angry and upset when you don’t help me,”instead of“You never help me,”which could make that person angry or resentful in return.

Avoid holding a grudge.Maintaining resentment toward someone only hurts you. Let it go, put it in the past, and move forward with your life. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to act the way you want them to. Rather than letting someone continue to irritate you with their mannerisms, find a way to accept or look past them.

Use humor.Lighten up the situation by saying or doing something genuinely funny. Once you both have a good laugh, it’s easier to find a resolution together. When being humorous, avoid sarcasm as it can hurt and make things worse.

Practice relaxation techniques.Skills like deep breathing and picturing a relaxing scene can help defuse your temper when you feel it start to boil.

Listening to music and practicing meditation and prayer are also great stress relievers.

If you feel that your anger is still out of control after using these strategies, you may benefit from some extra help, such as:

  • Reading further books on anger management.
  • Seeing a licensed therapist or counselor.
  • Attending anger management classes or support groups where others discuss ways to cope with their anger.

No matter how severe your anger may be, these tips and techniques can help you control your temper, rather than letting it control you. Free yourself from anger and find greater joy in your life today!

Question: What anger management strategies have you tried that I have not included here?

Photo Credit: Navaneeth KN

Thinking Positive To Create Financial Gain

Financial GainJust about everyone has heard that the Law of Attraction can be used to bring you what you want. If you think about being rich, you will be. Is it true? That depends on how you look at the actual statement. What is true, though, is that a more positive attitude about life in general really can help you create financial gain.

No one likes a Gloomy Gus. People who drag around all the time, feeling down about themselves and their circumstances, saying that nothing good ever happens to them, really aren’t going to see the big breaks that they once hoped for. Why? It’s because they’re projecting an air of defeat onto everyone and everything around them.

Stay positive, no matter what your current circumstances are, for your own benefit.

Sure, you might not be rich right now. You might even have trouble paying your bills, but better days will come to you. You can get that better job, receive that raise, and see that debt paid off, but complaining or giving up won’t get you to those goals.

Avoid Giving Up Too Soon

Avoid stopping before the task is complete, just because it seems to be taking a long time. Instead, stay positive! Avoid the very idea of giving up. The greatest people are where they are today because they never quit believing in their ability to be something more, and you shouldn’t, either.

Believe in yourself.When you do that, it shows. Others see it, and you become the kind of person they want to be around. You’ll naturally attract good things, because you’re giving out good things – smiles, handshakes, hugs, joy, and positive energy – to the people you meet. That’s the kind of person others want to spend their time with – and the kind of person that companies want to hire and promote!

Practice Thinking Positive Each Day

There are many ways to turn negative thinking into positive thoughts, instead. Like anything else, it requires some work. However, the time you spend on it is well worth the effort.

Here are some simple things you can do to get started on a more positive life and move yourself toward financial gain:

Say at least one positive thing to yourself, and about yourself, each day.

  • Cut out a costly habit, like smoking or excessive drinking, and you’ve already gained financially.
  • Spend time with positive people so you aren’t tempted to dwell on the negative.
  • Smile. Yes, it really does help your mood!
  • Get moving; exercise is one of the best positive mood-boosters around.
  • Take a risk on something you’ve always wanted to do.

Depending on your preferences, goals, and circumstances, different techniques might work better for you than others. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to thinking in a more positive way, but there are a lot of different options you can try. Avoid giving up, and you’ll find what works best for you. It’s well worth your time, especially when you start to see more joy in your life.

When you have a more positive attitude and mindset, and you project them out to the world, people want to be around you. Take that great attitude and those positive thoughts to your boss when you want a promotion or a raise. Take them to the job interview. Even take them to the unemployment line. You never know who you might meet there.

People miss many opportunities for financial gain because they aren’t thinking optimistically. Look at everything that happens to you and everyone you meet as valuable in some way. By staying positive and cultivating good relationships, you’ll be in place to accept the financial gain and positive energy that will begin to come your way.Be ready to let it in!

Question: What are some things that help you maintain a positive attitude?

Photo Credit: John Liu

Positive Strategies To Conquer Any Challenge

Life Challenges Life has many challenges, but do you think you can get past them? Of course you can!

Avoid letting other people – or your own thoughts – tell you that you can’t do whatever you have in mind.

A challenge isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity to excel and move forward. But you must see your challenge in a positive light, or it may not offer you the forward movement you’re really looking for.

Do you tackle challenges by getting stressed out and aggravated? If so, it’s time to learn how to avoid that conflict and deal with stress effectively. Anyone can learn to do it, but the mindset is very important. Most of the struggles you face come from not looking at things through an optimist’s eye.

Seeing your challenges as opportunities will help you make it through with flying colors.

The way a challenge is presented to you might be uncomfortable, but you can take that and turn it around to your advantage. Then, things that try to take you down can actually build you up and be used for your good, instead. You may even begin to look forward to your challenges to move ahead in life and accomplish even more.

The Size of the Challenge Is Irrelevant

Whether the challenge is a serious health issue, a job loss, or something else entirely, you can remain positive about it. No matter what happens in life, there is always joy and beauty that can be found, as well. If you look for the good things, you’re going to find them; they’re hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be discovered!

It can be more of a challenge to stay positive when big things come against you, but step back and give yourself permission to grieve for a little while. Once that’s done, set it aside and move on to something else. Avoid looking backward, because you can’t possibly move forward if you’re fixated on what’s behind you.

See yourself as healthy, happy, and whatever it is you need. There are baby-steps you can take to move in the direction of having what you want. It may seem like it’s taking a long time, but it’ll take even longer if you don’t get started. Make a plan for your challenge, even if you start out slow, and avoid letting setbacks get you down. Everyone has them.

The Critical Key to Conquering Your Challenges

Just as you can get through any size challenge, you can also get through any type of challenge. That’s the key that successful people use to unlock their goals and dreams. They avoid looking at how big or difficult their challenge is. Instead, they look at how big their faith is, and that can be faith in God, or simply faith in themselves and their abilities.

If you look at what you can do, instead of what’s coming against you, you can accomplish great things with what you have available. Take a look at what’s challenging you today. There may be more than one thing, but you only need to work on conquering one of them at a time.

Make a list of your challenges.Choose the challenge that appears to be the easiest, the one you feel best about, or the one you most need to address. Whichever one you choose is fine. The point is that you can get started and be successful, no matter what you’re facing, if you come up with a plan and stick with it. Then use your plan to conquer those challenges one at a time.

Challenges are something you’ll face all your life, just like everyone else. Whether they get you down or build you up will be determined by how you see them. You can’t choose your challenges, in most cases, but you can always choose how you react to them, and that can make all the difference in the world.

Question: What are some things that have helped you deal with challenges in your life?

Photo Credit: Jeff Rowley 

How To Fall Flat On Your Face And Succeed While Doing It

Falling on your faceEveryone makes mistakes and fails at certain points in life; that’s simply unavoidable. It’s the steps you take after you fall flat on your face that matter, and they’ll make all the difference between your future successes or failures.

It All Comes Down To Attitude

You might not realize how important attitude is in life. A positive attitude gives you an extra drive.If you fall on your face, you simply brush yourself off and come back even stronger with more determination. You realize that all is notsaid and done, and you’re going to take this situation and turn it into success no matter what.

A negative attitude has a lesson to teach you as well. You can say to yourself that it’s not meant to be or that you simply don’t have the ability or talent to succeed. It’s certainly a valid coping mechanism for dealing with failure, but it’s never going to lead you to success. If you want to succeed, you must adopt a positive attitude.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Every mistake you make has a lesson to teach you. Whether or not you’re willing to analyze and listen is a different story. You might be unhappy with what happened, but it’s possible that you’d never have learned an important life lesson without that particular failure.

You must remain open to learning from your mistakes. Not only can it lead you to future success, but it also can stop you from making the same mistake twice.

When you’ve fallen flat on your face, it’s usually shocking and sudden. But since you now have a positive attitude, you can use that to help you figure out why it happened. Once you discover why, you can make changes that will lead you to success.

Don’t Be Embarrassed

It can be embarrassing when you fail, especially when other people know about it. Avoid letting it slow you down. Bring out your “that’s just a part of life”attitude and keep on going. When you fall, you simply need to stand back up.

Trial And Error

Sometimes certain things in life come down to simple trial and error. It’s not always the most time-efficient method of figuring something out, but sometimes you have no other choice.

Trial and error means that you might end up failing many times before you reach success.Once you have success though, it makes your journey worth it. Some people are lucky and they don’t run into as many “errors” as other people because everyone has their unique path.

Failure is Just a Stepping Stone to Success

Always remember that failure is never truly a failure if you’re still trying. A failure is only a true failure if you’ve given up.

There are times when you may feel like giving up, because it’s natural to feel that way. Ask anyone who has reached success if they ever felt like giving up. They’ll likely tell you that they encountered problems several times on their road to success. They’ll also tell you that, despite their feelings, they never gave into them.

Successful people are those who just don’t give up.They don’t take no for an answer no matter what. They have persistence and perseverance. There’s no reason why you can’t be one of these people.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: Chris Gerrard

9-Steps To Making Good Decisions Fast

Decision MakingDo you ever feel like you’re pressured into making decisions before you’re truly ready? It’s always a good idea to weigh your alternatives and make your decision in a calm fashion. Sometimes, though, you may not have a lot of time on your hands, and in these situations you can speed up your decision making skills instead of throwing yourself into a panic.

Try these techniques to help you make good, quick decisions:

1. Calm down. If you’re feeling pressured into making a fast decision, the first thing to do is calm down. If you aren’t in a position where you can think clearly, then it will be more difficult to make a good decision. Take a few deep breaths to aid in clarity of thought and help you become less stressed.

2. Avoid running in circles. When time is of the essence, you might find that your mind begins to run in circles. Break you decision down into the vital parts and focus on the benefits of each alternative one at a time.

3. Take the time you need. Most of the time you won’t need to make decisions in a matter of seconds. You may need to make a decision quickly, but allow yourself time to go over your options.

4. Make a list of options and alternatives.You can write the steps down, or keep a list in your head. Do what works for you. Consider the outcomes of the available choices, as well as alternative ideas.

5. Consider your feelings and the feelings of others. Sometimes it’s good to just follow a gut feeling even if you don’t have much to back it up. Explore your initial feelings about the decision. Also, take the time to consider the feelings of the other people involved.

6. Ask for help. Most of the time you don’t have to be alone with your major decisions, and if you need to make a decision quickly, it’ll help to get another pair of eyes on the situation. Ask for help from someone you know and trust.

7. Narrow down your choices. See if you can quickly cross some alternatives off of your list of possibilities. Your decision will be easier if there are fewer choices.

8. Think on your feet. Strengthen your ability to think fast. This takes practice, confidence, and a firm belief in yourself. As you become more accustomed to thinking on your feet, you’ll automatically stop second-guessing yourself in tough situations.

9. Make your decision. If you’ve arrived at a conclusion but you’re still hesitating, then you haven’t made your decision yet. Have confidence and go with whichever alternative seems best based on the information you have.Remember, many day-to-day decisions aren’t permanent. If your information changes drastically, or things don’t go as planned with this decision, you may be able to change your decision to a new one based on the new circumstances.

As long as you practice these tips, you’ll improve your decision making skills. It may take some work, but the ability to make quick and wise decisions is just around the corner.

How do you make good decisions?

Photo Credit: sunshinecity

Do You Struggle With Time Management?

ClockDo you struggle with time management? Try these 5 techniques to strengthen you time management skills http://ow.ly/1CdQl

5 Techniques to Strengthen Your Time Management Skills

Time ManagementImproving Your Time Management Skills

Strengthening your time management skills is always a good idea no matter what your current skill level is. Life is always moving and changing, and you’ll want to keep up with the latest time management techniques.

Evaluate Your Current Skills

A good place to start is by identifying your current time management effectiveness. When you struggle to get things done, what do you think the cause is? When you successfully manage your time, what do you do differently? If you know what to work on, that’s half the battle right there.

For instance, you might have good time management in your home life, but lack the ability to get your tasks done at work. Since you’d like to improve your skills at work, you can go further by figuring out the reasons why your work projects don’t go as quickly as planned.

Is it because other people are getting in the way of your completing your work? If so, you can strengthen your communication skills too, so everyone works together more effectively. Maybe you’re just bored with your job. If that’s the case, you’ll want to find ways to fight the boredom and motivate yourself.

Better Time Management

Try these techniques to strengthen your time management skills:

1. Avoid procrastination. If you make a habit of procrastinating, you’re just wasting precious time. Ask yourself why you’re putting things off, and try to tackle the root problem. When you do, you’ll get back on track in no time.

It’s possible that you’re expecting too much out of yourself and feel overwhelmed. It’s okay, and even more productive, to take breaks and make time to relax. Then, when it’s time to work, you’ll feel refreshed and motivated to get the job done.

2. Get organized. It’s easy to waste time if you can’t find things, or if you aren’t sure what task you’re supposed to be working on at the time. Organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. Then move on to keeping checklists and goal sheets, enabling you to use your time more effectively.

3. Set deadlines. It’s always a good idea to start your projects with a time goal in mind. Without a clear goal, you might give yourself a week to complete a task that should have only taken a day. Set attainable deadlines and then stick to them. Schedule your time to maximize your productivity while still remaining relaxed and happy. Avoid stressing yourself out with unattainable deadlines, or you’ll run the risk of burnout.

4. Learn to delegate. When it’s appropriate, delegate certain tasks in order to save yourself time for things that you must do on your own. At work, this might mean passing out jobs to your employees or colleagues. At home, this may mean sharing tasks with your spouse or assigning chores to your children.

5. Have a daily to-do list. At the beginning of each day, make a to-do list and plan the tasks that you hope to accomplish. Keep flexibility in mind, because plans might change.

  • Cross off the items as you complete them. In doing so, you’ll be motivated to finish the rest.
  • Choose a ranking system where you prioritize which items on the list should be completed first. You might want to start off your day with the most important ones, or establish momentum with some quick, easy tasks. Find something that fits your personal style.

If you have the will to change, you’ll be able to strengthen your time management skills. Practice these strategies each day and soon you’ll be a master at time management.

What techniques do you use in  your time management process?

Photo Credit: RMKoske

Job Stress? You Can Deal With It

Job StressUnless you’re independently wealthy, you probably have a job. It’s a safe bet that you probably like that job most of the time, but it can also be stressful and uncomfortable on occasion. 

Stress is a natural part of anyone’s work environment, but if you learn to handle it in positive ways, you’ll enjoy greater job satisfaction. Learning to deal with job stress can take time and effort, but there’s no better time than the present to get started on your journey to handling stress and enjoying your job, day after day. It makes a better work environment for you and everyone you work with.

What Causes Your Stress?

There are mental and emotional manifestations of stress, but there are physical ones as well, and recognizing them can help make it easier to understand where most of your stress is coming from.

Knowing where you experience most of your stress won’t remove it, but gaining an understanding is the start of finding ways to lower your stress levels.

Some things that make you stressed on the job can include:

  • Performance evaluations
  • Deadline
  • Making mistakes
  • Work overload
  • Training
  • Office conflict

Even if there are a lot of things going on with your job that cause you stress, you can let that stress go and feel good again.

Letting Go of Job Stress at Work

Some people unleash their stress by yelling, acting out, and verbally attacking others around them. This can happen all too easily in an office environment where people are packed close together, but you can avoid these kinds of things and release your stress properly and gently.

Try these strategies to release your stress at work:

1. Remember to breathe. Breathing is vital for survival, but it’s also great for calming you down when you breathe effectively. Inhale slowly through your nose, and feel the air fill up your abdomen, not your lungs. Then exhale slowly through your mouth. If you do that a few times, you’ll feel calmer and less stressed. It’s great for anxiety, too.

2. Squeeze a stress ball. They’re small, lightweight, and designed to be squeezed when you feel stressed out. Even if you feel a little silly at first, they can be very beneficial.

Letting Go of Job Stress Away From the Job

When you get home from a challenging job, leave your stress behind. Avoid carrying it around with you as you go about the rest of your day. What happens at the office should really stay there, but that may be easier said than done.

Some things to consider when you let go of stress at home include prayer, meditation, yoga, exercises, talking things over with friends or family, playing with a pet, or anything else that makes you feel joyful and peaceful. You can create the kind of atmosphere you want in your own home, even if it’s not possible to do that at your job.

When you let go of job stress on a daily basis as it happens, you avoid going around frustrated and angry. It helps your relationships with other people, your own health, and the way you feel about yourself.

Some people turn to medications to deal with stress, but you have the ability to handle your job stress effectively on your own. Practice breathing, practice any activity that makes you happy, and practice appreciating what you have!

How are you dealing with stress on your job?

 

Photo Credit: Bark