Posts made in April, 2015

BREAK!

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 | 0 comments

pool-break.3We all need a break at one time or another. Today I needed a break so badly I had to remove myself from any proximity to technology: computer was powered down, iPhone was turned off and left at home. And I couldn’t get into my little guacamole-colored Subaru fast enough. Thankfully I am mature enough to not screech out of the driveway, but the thought did cross my mind. It was as if I was escaping some terrible threat to my sanity safety.

In reality, I was maxed out. I had hit the wall. I needed quiet, space, food, and a break. This happens to all of us, but what do we do about it? I stumbled upon this great article that shows clearly the warning signs of someone who needs a break. On a scale of 1 – 10, I was approaching total insanity. How about you?

So, TAKE A BREAK and read through this great article from LifeHack. It’s about 10 WARNING Signs You Definitely Need A Break and it’s a wake up call from that much-needed nap you aren’t taking.

We all need a break at one point or another, but perhaps you need one NOW. You may say that you are absolutely too busy to take a break or there is no way that you can let go right at the moment. These are both signs that you need a break TODAY.

If you find yourself saying any of the following, it’s time to take a day off and turn off the computer and all of your notifications and get away.

1. There are Only 24 Hours in a Day

Are you one who says that there is never enough time in the day to get everything done? Are you running around somewhat like a chicken with its head cut off? If you continue at this pace, you will always be behind. You are putting tons of items on your plate and only a few items are getting completed.

2. Your Social Life is Non-Existent

If this phrase rings true, then you definitely need a break. It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds. Do you want that to be you?

If you are missing your children’s events, missing momentous occasions from your best friends, and your family has no idea where you are at, then a break is long overdue.

3. A Change Throws You for a Loop

Are you flexible? Do you hate change? Change is what should bring you opportunities and a chance to see life in a new perspective. However, if you are continually trying to be in charge of every single aspect of your life without allowing room for change and absolutely detest when someone asks to change a meeting time, then you definitely need to take a deep breathe and schedule a day off.

4. You Have Dinner at the Office

Does ordering in for dinner and having it delivered to the office ring a bell? Or what about eating in front of your computer telling yourself that this last deck must get out tonight? If you cannot take 30 minutes to de-stress and eat in a peaceful (note: mobile and work free) environment, then you must start to ask why and make yourself distance away from work. Lastly, schedule a day to disconnect. No email. No calls. No thinking about the to-do lists.  A day to yourself.

5. The Gym Hasn’t Seen You in Months

You have not had any injuries. You used to be at the gym five out of the seven days a week, and now you are so busy working from sunrise to sunset. If anytime fitness was closer, then you would try to squeeze in a twenty minute workout, but it is a balancing act between sleep and working out.

6. Phone Calls Anger You

Hearing the ring of your telephone just sends an overall sense of more work. The words “it never ends” continues to go through your mind. Work is constantly calling or if it is your best friend that you have not talked to in months is calling, you sadly slide the notification to decline. Sighing and saying, “One day, it will be better.” I’m here to tell you that it’s time to take a break and realize that a phone call may just be what you need from your best friend.

7. What Used to Bring You Joy is Now A Hindrance

That hobby and job that you once loved seems more like an obligation than something that makes you smile. You regret every item that has to deal with the job. It feels as if you are chained to it and cannot escape. As my friend AJ Leon said so eloquently, “I have met many entrepreneurs that leave a job they feel is a prison, only to find that now the door is locked from the inside and they are holding the key.” No more smiles and happiness.

8. You Answer Emails as You Go To Bed and Right When You Wake-up

Are you answering work emails in your bed at night and then checking your email immediately upon waking? Taking work with you to bed is a recipe for a high stress lifestyle. Having it by your side 24/7 is a recipe for disaster. You are always thinking about work and adding it to your to-do list, which is not giving you any time to yourself. It’s time for a break.

9. You Have a Quad Americano Three Times a Day

Does your barista know your orders based on the look that is on your face when you walk? Do you have a morning, afternoon, and evening order all with at least four shots of espresso? Maybe it’s time to step back and realize that all the caffeine in the world is not going to make your work go away.

10. You Are Never Home

Your roommates don’t believe you exist. They get the rent check but never actually see you. Your house looks impeccable because you have not had enough time to spend there to make it dirty. You have just a couple of groceries in your pantry, and the refrigerator is empty with the exception of condiments that have a two year expiration date. You are literally home to sleep and wake up early to do it all over again. It’s an unsustainable lifestyle. You live and breathe work.

It’s time for a break if you can check off one of these items. It’s time for a week vacation if more than two apply to you. If you have all ten, then you need to take a break, go on vacation, and reexamine this lifestyle because you only have this one and is this how you want to live?

Want a break? Take one! I did, and I’m feeling better.

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April Fools Day, Tony the Tiger, and Goalsetting

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 | 0 comments

tonyIt is a quiet spring morning that began with a bowl of sugar frosted flakes. As I sat on the patio earlier today and enjoyed the fresh air, I was calm, mellow even. The day ahead loomed bright and productive. Nothing could break my positive mood.

Unless that nothing snuck up on my subconscience mind and caught me by surprise. My ohm moment was broken with a quiet whisper. There was a moment when the image of Tony the Tiger tickling my ear with his cold nose flashed across my mind, and then all I heard was a whisper in my head, “You are NOTHING without me.”

I set down the bowl of sugar frosted flakes. I checked behind me and carefully rubbed my forefinger along the curve of my ear, inspecting for the damp residue of a cold nose. Nothing.

“What?!?, ” I thought very loudly in my head.

A different whisper this time, “You should eat NOTHING but healthy food.”

This time I blinked, shook my head and glared at the bowl in front of me. It was me, talking to me.

Dammitohell. It’s April 1st! This is the day I am starting my healthy food and daily exercise lifestyle. How could I forget, especially with Tony the Tiger himself whispering sweet nothings inside my head.

I grabbed the bowl and downed the remaining sugary flakes, now a little soggy.

My own thoughts battled the whispers, “Fine. April Fools. The joke’s on you. I had sugar for breakfast. So there. What are you going to do about it?”

And then all I heard was the same whisper in my head, “You are NOTHING without me.”

My mind danced around that whisper for a full minute until it hit me: that wasn’t just me talking to me, that was a warning cry.

I am an addict. A sugar addict. It wasn’t Tony in my head, it was my own body reminding me that I had set a goal and was already failing. Day One. Hour One. The joke was on me.

I took a deep breath and refocused. I could already feel the sugar blues descending, but I jumped out of my chair, tossed the evidence bowl and spoon in the dishwasher, and did a little jig… Happy April Fool’s, it’s still Day One, but it’s Hour Two and I am winning!

It’s important to set goals, build in self-monitoring reminders (I can’t guarantee Tony the Tiger in your head, but reciting positive affirmations, writing down your goals, setting small goals that will lead to the end goal, etc. will make a big difference), and never forget that small failures may happen along the way, but they are only speed bumps.

What I Learned Today (WILT): The important thing is to not let temporary setbacks knock you off your path to success. Shake it off, and move forward.

I’m a professional speaker. If I can do that, I can do this.

And even more to the point, I work with addicts and recovering addicts every day. If they can do that, I can do this.

There are so many things I’ve accomplished in my life that are so much more difficult that giving up sugar. Why is this so hard?

And then I remembered that whisper, “You are NOTHING without me.” Addiction sucks. And this is the message it delivers, every day, all day.

I am going to turn the joke around and stop listening.

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