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Six Strategies to Inspire You and Get You Moving in the Right Direction Today

Being your true self Is the most effective formula for success, in anything you do. That affirmation reinforces my desire to live life on my own terms every day, and continue moving forward in this world of uncertainty.

Jim Rohn said “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action”.

On April 21st, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the SUCCESS Live conference in Dallas, TX.

I heard from outstanding thought leaders like Brendon Burchard, TD Jakes, Mel Robbins, Lewis Howes and so many more.

Here are six of the most important life strategies that I walked away with:

1)    High performance is not correlated with age, gender, nationality, intelligence, personality, strengths or creativity. High performance comes from your desire to succeed beyond standard forms consistently over the long term.

2)    Do what you believe in, and apply yourself without limitations. Raise your ambitions. Never limit your vision for your future, based on today

3)    Passion, Energy & Enthusiasm moves you forward. Developing good habits keeps your momentum going.

4)    The only thing that should be stable on the ride to success is you.

5)    You are designed for success but life happens, and introduces us to failures. Honor the struggle.

6)    Courage is required, then you build confidence. Your dream has to be bigger than your fear.

I would love it if you would share with me, anything from this list that resonates with you, and gives you the inspiration and momentum to take action today.

You can email me at denise@everythingemile.com.

6 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic and Crush Self Doubt

It’s challenging for most of us to rise above our own excuses and move out of our comfort zone. It can feel impossible to do, and it doesn’t help when self-doubt moves in and clouds our thoughts. However, you can conquer self-doubt and accomplish what you really want in your life.

Living the life you want, doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon all of the things you are comfortable with. After all, you’ve gotten to where you are today, by doing many of those things. The very first step in creating something new for yourself, is recognizing that you have a desire to experience something different and be okay with it. No judgement, just awareness.

When we allow ourselves to dream and think of all the things we want to do, three very common emotions tend to show up, and attempt to throw us off track.

First, the chatter from our inner-critic, weighs in, and convinces us, whatever big idea or thoughts we’re having about creating a change in our lives is crazy, because we aren’t ready, and it’s not worth being uncomfortable.

Second, our ego does a drive-by and reminds us, of all the folks out there who are going to be judging or criticizing our actions, and just like that, creativity and happiness are thrown out the door.

And third, lack of confidence and belief in yourself, will completely blow out any flame of possibility.

Does this sound familiar to you? Inner Critic, ego and lack of confidence are all close-knit family members who want to get in your head, and destroy any effort you make to experience the level of success, happiness and freedom you really want for yourself.

Now that you know you’re likely to have some unwelcome thoughts you can be prepared to conquer them straight away.

6 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic and Crush Self Doubt

1.Be disruptive!

Find a way to disrupt your daily pattern and be okay with it. Consider new and different ideas to accomplishing your goals. Think how disruptive Uber, Netflix & PayPal were to their industries.

For example, if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, it might mean getting up an extra 30 minutes earlier in the morning, so you can work out. Maybe it means partnering with a nutritionist to find out the best ways to reduce your weight and get back in shape.

The first step is aligning your goal with an impact-action that moves you closer to the finish line.

2.Be around people who understand what you want to accomplish and are supportive

Becoming part of a new community can expose you to ideas and resources that you may have never considered before, and you might find that, getting to what you want isn’t nearly as challenging as you may have originally thought. Now is a good time to consider working with a mentor, or hiring a coach.  You might consider joining a mastermind, or become a part of an organization. Partnering with the right support can breathe life into your efforts and replace that sense of dread with a sense of possibility.

3.Trust yourself

Leverage the wins that you have already had in your life and know that you are capable. Be willing to give yourself a chance. Connect with yourself and be patient. Small, steady steps, can lead to big progress.

4.Be okay with making a mistake

Making mistakes are normal, and every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson and to consider what changes need to be made, and what different approaches you can take. Look at your mistakes as directional signals, that are alerting you to go in a different direction, or try a new approach.

5.Be afraid and do it anyway

Don’t let fear get in the way of achieving your goals and living the life that you want. Make space for your fear, know that it’s there, and move forward anyway. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic, says Fear, is allowed to have a seat, but not allowed to vote, and not allowed to drive. It’s okay to be afraid, and definitely normal, when you’re trying something new, just do it anyway.

6.Work with a Coach

Working with a coach can help you develop the mindset you need to be successful and get past any blocks that get in your way. Whenever you experience change or try something new, it’s like exercising a muscle you haven’t used, and it can take a little practice and time to get used to. Having support around you can make a huge difference in helping you reach your end goal and live your dream.

This small action will make a huge difference in ensuring that you move forward with the positive changes you want to make in your life.

10 Things You Probably Never Knew About Me

#1 – I’ve been planning my escape to a bungalow on a beach since I was (well, let’s just say for a long time), and it got even worse, after I saw the movie Blue Crush.

#2- I’m thoroughly addicted to mystery and suspense dramas. I love shows like Dateline, Homeland, Prison Break, 24, Chicago PD……not sure why I hold onto the remote control every minute, finger on the change-channel button, just in case something scary jumps off. 

#3- My first name is really Emile (pronounced Emily). It’s my paternal grandmother’s name, and I didn’t even know it, until I was sixteen years old, and needed my birth certificate to apply for my drivers’ license.  (ummm….Thanks Mom & Dad for sharing???)

#4- I’m a rule follower, who tends to be very predictable, and I do everything by the book (well, pretty much) until I decided to walk away from my very steady, corporate job, and become an entrepreneur. I’m nine months into running my own executive coaching and leadership consulting business and loving it.

#5- I’m serious about watching what I eat, and on any given day, I’m on a diet. That is, unless, it’s been a really long day, and the golden arches are right in front of me, or the homemade lasagna, is just that good, and I must have seconds.

#6- I cringe whenever I hear “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run), by Billy Ocean. It’s just one of those dang songs where, you can’t get the melody out of your head, even if you wanted to……..”She dashed by me in painted on jeans, And all heads turned, cause she was the dream”…..Oh No!!!

#7- I was mistaken for the late Natalie Cole, not once, but twice – It’s true. Out of 7.5 billion people in the world, two of them (from different places) thought I was the singer, and approached me for an autograph.

#8- I tend to choose men who show up as thoughtful, sweet and kind.  The “I’ll do anything for you” type, until football, basketball and baseball season comes around. I have this pattern of choosing men, who LOVE sports, trust me, it’s not a prerequisite, it just happens that way.

#9- I know all the words to the song “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire, and I’m certain, that I should have been a soprano as evidenced by my ability to stay right up there with Philip Bailey.

#10- I truly love being an ontological coach. One of my greatest joys is being able to walk with someone on their journey and offer some insight or inspiration that makes the quality of life, even just a little bit better.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments, if you can relate to any of the 10 things I mentioned about myself. What do most people not know about you?

6 Techniques to Help You Gain Clarity on What You Want In Life

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

~ Mahatma Ghandi ~

 

Do you ever find yourself pondering the question “What do I want in life?”. Many of us are afraid to ask ourselves that question, for fear that we have no idea, or no clue what we want. You might not even know where to begin to answer that question for yourself.  Instead, you may choose to either drift along and play small, or move so fast, that you don’t give yourself the time or space to reflect on what you really want out of life.

Do you remember back in the day, when you were ten years old, and an adult asked you, what do you want to be when you grow up, your immediate response, without much thought was “I want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a rock star when I grow up”. Whatever your choice was, it was easy to dream big back then. No worries about judgment or criticism, or whether you would have enough money to fund your education. You simply just let possibility be the driver.

Are you willing to take a step back and recreate that mindset for yourself today, and explore the possibilities of what you want out of your life, right now, right here? I am going to share with you six steps that will help you land on what you want and move you in the direction of living forward.

 

1-Figure out what you need to make you happy.

This may sound easy, but it really isn’t. Slow yourself down and give some thought to what you need to make you happy. Is it financial freedom? love in your life? more time with your family? more balance between work and play? owning your own business?….etc. Grab a notebook, or pull up a blank page on your PC, and start jotting down a list of all the things that would make you happy. Once you have your list begin prioritizing them and give some thought to how you can create action behind each one.

 

2-Determine what really bothers you.

Figure out what upsets you and be specific about it. Don’t just say you hate your job, be clear about what you don’t like about your job. Is it your micro managing manager, or the unclear metrics that your performance is measured by? Is it, your meaningless workload? or all of the above. Once you’ve gotten clear on what you don’t like, the next step is to figure out what you’re going to do about it. Many of us get stuck right here. The reality is, if you want to find out what you want in life, you’ve got to be willing to fight for it, and be committed to changing the things that you don’t want. Your level of commitment to having the life you want has to be higher than your resistance.

 

People who get what they want tend to be the ones who make the effort to know what they want.

 -Martha Beck

 

3- Create a Life Plan.

One of the most helpful ways to get what you want is to create a plan. Begin with the end in mind, and think about the vision you have for yourself. Get clear on what your goals are and put them down in writing.  Get as specific as you can about the actions you need to take to accomplish your goals. Establish milestones and a timeline for yourself, and evaluate your progress and celebrate your wins.

 

4-Get Support.

It can be challenging to move out of your comfort zone and live in the area of possibility, and do it alone. It can be very rewarding to get a coach and get that push that you may need, or stretch your imagination in ways that allow you to see yourself in that dream job, or as a successful entrepreneur. Talking about what you want with a coach who can support you can help you think of new ideas, or resources that you may not have thought about. Working with a coach can help you remove hidden limitations you may have been applying to yourself.

 

5-Stay positive.

Having a positive mindset can make all the difference in accomplishing what you want. Believe that you’re practically 90% there, with the right attitude. Don’t get discouraged, just stay the course and be vigilant. Getting what you want out of life takes courage, commitment and confidence. Surround yourself with like-minded people and stay inspired.

 

6-Put Yourself First.

I know that may sound selfish but sometimes you just have to put yourself first. Ask yourself, if you weren’t tied down by a job, family or friends, what would you be doing right now? Remember, you only get one life, so make the most out of it and live life on your own terms. There’s always a way to get what you want. You just have to start by first knowing what you want. With clarity comes unstoppability.

 

Please feel free to share any additional tips in the spaces below that you think might help others in finding out what they want in life.  I’d love to hear about what has worked for you.

 

Thanks for reading this post, if you enjoyed it, or it helped you in any way, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.

3 Techniques To Turn Fear Into Faith And Overcome Self Doubt Every Time

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we are striving towards our dreams sometimes it is easier to fool ourselves into thinking that we won’t get the new contract, or get the promotion, or we won’t meet the love of our life, so why even think about it?

Playing small can feel deceptively safe and comfortable.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to expect my regular visits from Gabby, my inner critic or my saboteur, who from time to time overstays her unwelcomed visit. Typically, she arrives when I’m thinking about doing something new or challenging like talking to a new business lead, speaking to a group of women, or promoting my coaching services and programs.

There are days when I can simply tell her where to go, or just plain ignore her. And then there are other days, when it seems she’s overly persistent about unpacking her bag and hanging out for a while.

Sometimes when she’s settled in, I can feel myself beginning to question why I am doing what I’m doing. I start asking myself, wouldn’t it just have been much easier to stay in corporate, earn a paycheck and play by someone else’s rules. Have you ever felt like that?

On those days and in those moments, when Gabby’s voice is loud and booming in my ear, and I sense myself slowing down and stopping, I remind myself of my own parents, who were both entrepreneurs.

My father opened his first dry cleaners in the 1950’s and eventually had a chain of dry cleaners, small restaurants and even multi-family units. And my mother was a “special occasion” seamstress. My mom, was the person you went to when you wanted a special dress, for your wedding, or prom or a big event.

My mom was the ultimate designer and her work was both unique and beautiful.

I imagine that for both of my parents, who were enormously gifted and creative, it wasn’t an easy ride. I’m certain that without commitment, perseverance and faith, they would have given up and not been as successful as they were.

Their demonstrated examples of endurance and patience and of what it meant to choose faith over fear, instill in me, a sense of fortitude and renews my spirit to forge ahead with clarity and purpose.

We all feel this way at points in our life, so if you’ve felt like this know you are not alone.  There are some techniques I use to help me turn my fear into faith and overcome self doubt, I’m going to share those with you now!

  1. Practice Mindfulness To Increase Your Awareness

Mindfulness is a practice which can help you become more aware of what is going on in your body, mind and spirit throughout the day, I recommend it to many of my clients who find it very powerful.

We spend so much of our time distracted, moving from activity to activity and flicking through our phones in between.  The frantic nature of our world has left us disconnected from ourselves, it’s strange that in this world where we have never been more “connected” we can feel this way.  But we can and do feel disconnected even if we don’t identify it as the problem.

When fear arises it’s important to recognize when it is happening.  Without a certain amount of awareness we can easily become trapped in a cycle of negative thinking unable to take ourselves out of it. There is a short exercise I highly recommend you start practicing 5-10 minutes per day to start growing your awareness.

Find a quiet space free from distraction. Sit either in a chair or cross legged on the floor, if you prefer you can also lie down but it’s better if you can sit up right. Just take a minute or two to come into the space, close your eyes and just breathe. Notice how it feels to just breathe.

If you like you can continue unguided in this way, feeling your breath and just starting to notice how the breath feels in your body.  Where it arises, how it moves in your body. Anything that comes up at all during the exercise is meant to be, whether a thought or many thoughts come up, a feeling, a sensation, just notice what is going on.  Or, if you feel you need some guidance, then you can use these guided mindfulness practices.

2.When Fear Arises Notice Where And How It Arises

The first step to overcoming fear is to recognize it as fear and this is where your mindfulness practice becomes practically useful in everyday life.  It is much easier to ignore emotions and thoughts that are uncomfortable, to attempt to hide them or cover them up. But you will notice that if you just start to get to know your fear a little bit, that it will start to lessen.  It might sound strange but it really does work like this.  Start by noticing where the fear is in your body and how it feels.  Does it feel hot or cold?  Does it sit in your stomach or in your chest or both?  Can you notice how you are breathing is in this moment, has the fear quickened or slowed your breath? There is no judgement here at all, this is simply starting to get to know your fear a little bit, becoming aware of how it feels in your body

3.When Fear Arises Address It Directly

The final stage is to directly address it as you would an old acquaintance.  You can even get a bit comical with yourself at this point. If you like you can name your fear, I spoke about Gabby earlier in the post. When I have moments of fear and self doubt I treat it as something to be addressed “Oh, so it’s you again, ok!”.

Give your fear a name and see what happens when you address it directly!

Choosing faith over fear means that you can crush self doubt and move ahead. Having faith gives you the hope that inspires you to take that next step and make that next move. Faith is the source that gives us energy to endure the long winter, and delight in the first blossoms of spring. It is the belief that tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities and a fresh new start.  Choosing faith over fear lets you exhale and take in a new breath, and  sometimes, all we ever need, is just a chance to start all over again.

I would love to know in the comments below, do you have any techniques you use to turn your fear around?

What’s Your Next Power Play?

Definition of Power Play – “An action, stratagem, or maneuver as in politics or business, by which power is concentrated or manipulated in order to subdue a rival or gain control of a situation”

What does power play mean to you?

When I think about a power play, I think about moving obstacles out of the way, so I can move forward. I think about moving through challenges and getting to the other side. I think about what my daily inspiration needs to be, so I have the energy and the fortitude to keep moving.

My power play is being clear on what I need so I can execute my plan.

I’ve had the great opportunity to work with so many brilliant people throughout 2016, and working with so many powerhouses has helped me to realize that having a strategy and a plan are the requisite tools that are needed to step up and move to the next level. It’s not just coming up with a great idea for a business, a new service, or a new program. For me, it’s about creating an actionable plan in writing, complete with milestones and rewards and going after it.

It’s about not stopping and figuring out your strategy.

If you feel stuck and unsure about how to move forward here are two important questions to ask yourself right now.  Grab a pen and paper, or open up a word document on your computer.  This exercise will take just 10 minutes but can shine a focused light on what is blocking you.

2 Power Play Questions You Need To Ask

  1. What is the one thing that you know you need to gain control of so you can live the life you want on your terms?

You see, the thing is we already know what is blocking us from moving forward. Deep down you know what it is, it’s just that it can be a little bit scary to deal with sometimes. I’m inviting you now to spend a few minutes just pondering this question.  Perhaps at first nothing will come, but that’s okay. When answers do come write them all down without blocking yourself or questioning whether they are right or wrong.

  1. What’s the rival that gets in the way, and needs to be subdued for you?

Is it your mindset? Is it money (thinking that you don’t have enough)? Is it fear?  Is it feeling overwhelmed? Is it concern about what others will think of you? Or maybe, you just don’t know where to start.  What is it that is stopping you from overcoming the challenge you know you need to overcome in the last question?

This is the critical juncture where many of us freeze. And, it’s my sweet spot. I love working with people and partnering together, to help YOU figure out what your next power play is.

You might need one intensive conversation to gain momentum, or you might want multiple conversations to develop your strategy.

Wherever you are is perfect, and I would love to hear from you.

Click here to schedule a complimentary 30 minute conversation and let’s get this power play started. https://calendly.com/denise658

I would love to hear in the comments below what is your power play going to be for the next 90 days?

 

6 Steps To Achieving Your Money Objective

Many of us have money blocks. And if I’m honest, money is by no means my favorite topic to talk about. However, money is important to me and choosing to write about it is a part of my process to work on my own money objective.

And in doing that, I’m getting better with being comfortable with being uncomfortable around money. That’s the first step, acknowledgment and acceptance, only from that place can true change happen.

In today’s post I’m going to help you to identify your most important money objective and give you 6 steps to achieving it. But first, I’d like to give you a bit of context which will help you uncover some money blocks & help you understand your money mindset.

Identifying Your Money Mindset

I can remember as if it were yesterday my father saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and “God bless the child who has his own” or “You have to work hard if you want money” Maybe you can remember some of the sayings that you frequently heard as you were growing up.

Each and every message you heard about money when you were young is somewhere in your subconscious mind and is part of your money blueprint. Those same messages are also a part of your internal mapping system that has been running your financial life.

Our money mindset has a lot to do with how we view money, and often times, our money earning potential. John Demartini, author and human performance speaker says “Money goes and flows where it’s appreciated most”.

Identifying Your Money Objective

Having a clear money objective can help you gain the focus you need to accomplish your money goals. It is also helpful, as you move forward and make decisions on how you spend your money.

To create your money objective, start by thinking about what is most important to you from a financial perspective.

Do you want to be debt free?

Create personal wealth?

Take that dream vacation?

Or maybe, you want to start your own business.

It’s important that you just pick one money objective to focus on for now, once you have it please write it down.

6 Steps To Achieving Your Money Objective

  1.      Write your money objective down on an index card, a post-it or in your journal. Keep your money objective easily accessible, place it      somewhere you can see it frequently so you are consistently reinforcing the money objective in your mind.
  2.      Decide a time frame for your money objective. Is it reasonable to give yourself 6 months or 12 months to accomplish your objective? Remember success comes in a series of small wins. So, give yourself the time you need and evaluate your progress regularly and consistently.
  3.      Begin to align your values, your daily activities and the decisions you make around your money objective. For example, if your money objective is to pay off your Visa card, make sure your actions and behaviors reflect that. Begin by using the card less frequently. You may decide to reduce the number of times you eat out, and use the money saved to add to the amount you pay on your monthly statement, or you may decide to remove the card from your wallet completely so you’re less tempted to use it.
  4.      Create a list of action steps for yourself that you are willing to follow to accomplish your money objective and stick to it. Focus on the opportunities to accomplish your goal, and play to win.
  5.      Get support. You may need an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Developing willpower around changing old habits can be challenging but finding someone who is aligned with helping you achieve your goals, and who will help hold you accountable can make the experience much better.
  6.      Educate yourself on money and financial health. There are a ton of great books, articles, podcasts and many more resources to help you get smart about your dollars.

Need more support on this topic? I’ll help you gain clarity on understanding your money mindset and figuring out next steps to create your one money objective.

Click here to schedule your 30 minute complimentary session with me today https://calendly.com/denise658

Shifting your money minset starts right here, I’d love to know in the comments below if you can remember what you learned about money growing up.

Gratitude Changes Everything

One of the most important rituals that I have developed over time is my practice of gratitude. I start my morning by writing down the three things that I am grateful for and I do the same thing in the evening.

If you only add one new habit to your routine this year, it must be a gratitude practice, it’s changed my life.

Seven months ago, I made a big, hairy and audacious decision and walked away from all that I knew to be certain. And fear was right by my side, the whole time. I did it anyway. I summoned up all my courage and took the leap.

I now live my life with intention, listening with my heart and making choices with no regrets. My coach says that “Being an entrepreneur is the most intense form of personal development”, and that is so true.

My gratitude practice has been my constant and loving support and it has taught me so much. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned, and encourage you to start your own practice.

What Gratitude Has Taught Me

The daily practice of gratitude has provided so much clarity for me in my life around what’s important and what brings me joy. It’s opened up the small and insular world that I had been managing my life in.

Knowing what I am grateful for has allowed me to embrace the abundant opportunities that have come my way.

I’m thankful for the now toned muscles of tenacity and resiliency that I am frequently using.

I understand the need for compassion and connection with others, and the importance of having an open mind. I’m grateful for possibility and the freedom to start my day by asking myself “What if…”

It’s not that being grateful is a skill or something that you have to learn to do, but what I know for sure, is that not practicing gratitude is like riding a bike with only one wheel. It can be done, but it takes so much longer to find your balance.

I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and that when I make a mistake, I get the chance to learn from it, and start all over again, without judgement or criticism.

And what’s more, “done is better than perfect.”

I’ve learned how important it is to keep learning, and to stay curious, because if you don’t pour back into yourself, you won’t have anything to give to others. I’ve learned that what I give my attention to grows and prospers.

So I encourage you, add a slot in your calendar for daily gratitude and spend a few minutes each day writing down what you are most grateful for and see the profound impact this simple exercise has on your life.

Let’s kick this off your gratitude practice right now, share with me in the comments what you are most grateful for in this moment.

There’s a Bit of Adventure In All Of Us – Find Yours!

Have you ever wondered why you don’t have it in you to do something different in your life? You may ask yourself: Why aren’t I more courageous? Why can’t I make a big change? Why can’t I take a leap of faith? The idea behind having a sense of adventure – the kind of adventure that helps you to work your way out of those valleys that come with life – doesn’t mean, you suddenly become infatuated with zip lining or white water rafting.  A sense of adventure is really about waking up every day not with a sense of trepidation but with a sense of possibility. Most of us, are extremely fearful about life. We often find ourselves being protective and defending ourselves. And yet there are people who have developed a different way of responding to the world. For them, they approach life always looking for the possibility of what lies ahead and the opportunities that are available.

Why is their outlook on life so different?

It may have something to do with the people who they surround themselves with. Have you ever noticed that positive people, surround themselves with other positive people? We often don’t realize how much the people who we are around influence our thoughts, our moods, and even our level of adventure. Business Philosopher, Jim Rohn says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, if you are risk adverse, afraid to try new things or unwilling to do anything that makes you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable, if the people around you are always zapping new ideas.  This isn’t to say that you should get rid of the people around you, but you might want to think about how your sense of who you are is being shaped by the people you are around the most.

What would it be like for you if you did something completely adventurous?

Author Robert Kolker said it best “Being adventurous, it turns out, is a little like being a good dancer: Most of us think we aren’t, and the more we’re convinced of this, the less hope we have of loosening up and getting better. But if we would open up a little- look at what we might do instead of what we’re certain we can’t- we’d discover something”

What’s your adventure?

Challenge yourself to try something you’ve never done before and to consider the possibilities.  

“Adventure isn’t about risk or thrill seeking or proving your mettle. It’s about going for something with all your heart” James B. Meigs

I would love it if you shared your new adventure with me. Write back and tell me about your experience. How did it go for you? Would you do it again? How did doing something totally different make you feel?

Can’t wait to hear from you!

What Would I Do, If I Had More Time?

What Would You Do if  You Had An Extra Hour In The Day?

Whenever I ask my clients that simple question their responses include, exercise, cook a gourmet meal, play, spend time with family, write a book, read more, meditate, take salsa lessons and the list goes on.  

What’s amusing is that, earlier this month, in regions that observe Daylight Savings Time, we all received that extra hour, but most of us, didn’t take advantage of the extra time.

In my opinion, it’s not so much that we need “extra” time, I think it’s more about, really being aware of how we spend our time, and how we make the best use of our time. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, the equivalent of 1,440 minutes, but how we value that time, and how we use that time is the main differentiator between those of us who make the most of every minute, and those of us, who don’t.

Learning how to use your time as a valuable resource, starts with taking a hard look at how you use your time now.  Keep a time log for a week, and track (by 30 minutes to an hour) all the things you do from the moment you wake up in the morning, until you hit the sack at night. At the end of the week, circle all the areas that you consider to be unproductive. You might want to go even further and categorize your time at work, home and personal time. Once you get really conscious about how you spend your time, you can make an effort to replace unproductive time, with activities that you enjoy the most. Remember that time is a tool. It can be manipulated, shared, divided and saved.

Here are 6 tips on how I squeeze every second of time out of my day, I hope you find them helpful:

1.Take Time to Plan – I use the Self Journal, which is a daily planner to help optimize my day. I take 15 minutes in the morning to set my intention for the day, and 15 minutes every evening to set my goals for the next day and beyond if needed.

  1. Prioritize Your Daily Targets and Tackle the Hardest One First. By prioritizing the hardest one first, you are more likely to complete the rest and build the momentum you need for the day. I often use a Top Five list, where I list my top five priorities and as I complete one, I cross it off the list, and add another priority task. I never have more than five priorities on the list, at one time.
  2. Stay Focused. This can be difficult, because there are so many distractions. I recently turned off all of the alerts on my devices. I also let people know when I’m working on something important so I can eliminate unnecessary interruptions. I find a quiet space and I stay focused on the task at hand, until I complete it.
  3. I stay true to Stephen Covey’s #2 Habit, which is “Begin With the End in Mind”. I create the vision and outcome that I want to achieve. This always helps me to get my mindset ready and feel purposeful as I set out to accomplish my goals.
  4. Include Managing Your Energy With Managing Your Time. You can be the best planner and have all of the resources you need to get the job done, but if you don’t have the energy to do it, then it’s a bust. I typically start my day off with a long brisk walk, and 10 minutes of meditation before I get to work. It’s a true energy booster for me. Figure out what works for you, and make it a daily habit.
  5. Remember, There Are Always 1,440 Minutes in Each Day. They do not vary from day to day. If you get conscious about how you spend every minute of the day, you’ll find yourself using your time much more wisely, and wasting a lot less of it. Appreciate that some of these minutes will be used systematically (time at work, calls), others to service your physical requirements (eating, sleeping) and time for personal needs (relaxation, self-care). It’s really about what you do with the remaining time that makes a difference and can lead to you getting the most out of life, and enjoying every minute of it.

 

Some of my favorite audio books on this topic include:

-The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss

-I Know How She Does It, by Laura Vanderkam

-Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy