Tag Archives: mental-health

10 Surefire Ways to Knock Out the Undesirables on Your To-Do List

22 Mar

Check off that to-do listThe first quarter of the year is rapidly drawing to a close along with the TO-DO list items that keep getting transferred every day. Here are great answers answers to the following question I put on the HOPEpreneurs Facebook page:

“I have some things on my TO-DO list that keep getting transferred over to the next day. This is mainly because I don’t like to do them. What advice do you have for me to get them done before the end of the year?”

1. Write down each on a separate piece of paper.

Fold it  and drop it in a bowl. Randomly draw one each day. Now, you only have one thing you don’t like on your list!

Jan Harrison – Speaker/Trainer/Conference facilitator

2.  Do one at the FIRST of each day.

Reward yourself (walk, yoga, manicure, coffee) when complete. Good luck!

Gloria Miele – President of Optimal Development Coaching

3.  Do shortest one first.

Glenna Smart Castle

4.  Delegate.

Juliann Nichols

5.  Take little bites.

Momentum builds momentum…

Wayne Parnell

6. Reward yourself.

There are “to do” things that I love, which do not necessarily need to be done soon, but always get done first. I reward myself with the “love to do” things after I have accomplished a “don’t like to do” thing

Nancy Denharder

7. Determine which ones can be handed off.

Get creative and trade, hire someone to do them or whatever else you need to do.
Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis

8. Dig in and get it done now.

Focus on what’s important to you. Stop procrastinating, because time and energy are needed for your Christmas duties. Besides, think of all the fun you’ll have once these tasks are behind you.
Larry Freeman

9. Set the timer.

Set aside a specific period of time to work on a big project. Stick with it until the timer goes off. You will be amazed at how much you get done.
Karen Sebastian – Founder of HOPEpreneurs

10. Get an accountability partner.

Find someone you can trust to hold you accountable. Make a plan and stick with it. Set dates to complete tasks and get them done.

10 Encouragement Boosters

7 Jul

Encouragement infuses hope or confidence of a positive outcome despite difficult circumstances. Let’s face it, we live in a challenging world. Current financial situations, personal issues, health issues, and difficulties in starting a profitable business can strip us of our joy and the resolve to move forward. Affirming words create an atmosphere where we can believe that things are going to be okay even in the midst of difficult times. It is not about ignoring the very real problems that exist but rather infusing courage to take the next step to resolve them.

1. Acknowledge tough times

How do you feel when someone makes light of the situation when they have no idea what you’re going through? Many times in our effort to help others in their struggles, we minimize the obstacles they face. Instead of strengthening their resolve, we demoralize them.   Do you remember how you felt as you were going from one grade into the next when in school? Just because you’ve made it through, don’t forget the struggles. Instead, reassure the person who comes to you that they have come to the right place to find a sounding board to help them work through these hard times.

2. Look at both sides of the issue

My friend, Michele Markey with SheVenture says, “No matter how flat the pancake is, it still have two sides.” Often those who are discouraged, are only looking at one side of the situation and it’s usually the downer side. Write down all the unfavorable conditions without saying them out loud. List them or put them in a web or mind map. The important part is to get them down on paper. Take a few minutes to number them with the greatest obstacle first.

3. Listen

One of the hardest things to do when someone is sharing their problems is to keep from jumping in with the perfect solution for them. The greatest gift you can give someone is to listen and ask questions that allow them to keep sharing what’s going on. Some people process as they talk so it’s hard to see them go in circles. If this happens, paraphrase what you’ve heard them say so far. This will help them to distill their information and get closer to a workable solution.

4. Set a timer for discussing the problems

The only danger with being a good listener is that the person you are trying to help regain their edge may get stuck in the negative cycle that pulls them down even further. I would suggest that you use a timer and agree on the amount of time they might need to discuss the problems. Otherwise, you will get pulled down also. Remember that you want to encourage  them and that won’t happen if you spend all your time looking at the negative side.

5. Shift the conversation to the positive

Once the timer has gone off, it’s time to change the channel and start looking at the positive side of the situation. This is very hard for some people. As the encourager ask questions like:

  • What’s the bigger picture here?
  • If you take a step back can you see some of the amazing things that are happening in your life?
  • What do you want to see happen in this situation?
  • What is one thing you’ve learned during this difficult time?
  • Who have you been able to help now that you have experience in this area?

6. Rebound by finding 5 things that are going well

After they answer the questions, inspire them to explore what’s going well or any good that has resulted from the difficulties. The goal of our lives should not be to take it easy but rather to grow, develop and become stronger as we overcome challenges. It’s about learning and growing. You may have to give the first one but after they get going, you will notice a marked shift. For more on the 5:1 ratio check out ABT in Action.

7. Express what you admire most about that person

Applaud their efforts and reassure them that they are unstoppable if they will move forward. Focus on the qualities that make them who they are and not on their appearance or what they’ve done. You don’t have to say a lot, in fact, most people will be a little uncomfortable with this part of the process since we rarely receive pats on the back.

8. Use honoring words

Honoring words are those that focus on your intrinsic value and character. Accentuating these positive qualities can become a life-long transformational habit. If you are at a loss to come up with words, create an alphabetic list of honoring descriptors. Add to it regularly.

9. Check in frequently

Establish a process of encouraging that person for several weeks. It doesn’t take a lot of time to reach out to them with a call, email, tweet of Facebook post. It doesn’t take much time to reach out and brighten their day. Additionally, you will begin to find renewed energy as you look for ways to encourage others.

10. Keep the momentum going

There are many avenues you can use to encourage others. Write a note in which you include the honoring words. Before long encouraging, reassuring, praising, restoring and strengthening others will become a way of life. What a great life it is!

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching to accelerate your personal and professional growth.

Eliminating Excuses Caused by Perfectionism

24 Apr

Celebrate Progress rather than Perfection

“What’s wrong with perfectionism? Shouldn’t I set high standards,” you might be thinking. In my own experience, perfectionism has done me more harm than good. When facing new situations, I feel uncomfortable and unwilling to look like a fool or ask for help. Here are some of the ways where seeking to get it ‘perfect’ has hindered my success (along with the HOPE Antidote – of course):

Too hard

When facing a new challenge, it can seem like an insurmountable situation. Every time you try something new it will seem hard at first. If you are a perfectionist,  you  may resist moving forward when you are not sure of yourself.

Hope Antidote

My hope antidote for this excuse is to think back on other times when I felt like something was overwhelming. With time, I became comfortable with the new skill and encouraged others to try it. Why should this situation be any different? It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay if you’re unsure. The key is to move forward and take action.

Take too much of my time

This excuse can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because at times, when I’ve tackled a new project, I’ve lost sight of all the other things that I need to do. This ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking  is confining and holds me back.

Hope Antidote

The best way to eliminate this excuse is to schedule my time and move forward systematically and not compulsively. Darren Rowse in Problogger writes about how perfectionism itself is a ‘time drain.’ He’s right about that. Determine how much time you are willing to spend and reward yourself when you stick to it.

Too complicated

I have to face that, most often, I am the one making it complicated. This goes back to the saying, “If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing it right.” The flip side of that statement is that I’d rather not even start the project because it looks too daunting.

Hope Antidote

The battle is in my mind. What I believe becomes my reality. In other words, if I keep believing that it is too complicated, I will indeed be paralyzed by my perfectionism. On the other hand, I will move forwards if I create a mind map or a list of next steps and tackle each one consistently. It’s my choice. My new saying will be, “If it’s worth doing, I will take steps in that direction.”

Set a simple plan in place. Take a few steps. Laugh when you trip. Learn from your mistakes.  Cheer yourself on as you tackle big projects. If you do this on a consistent basis you will be much better off. Experience the joy of forward progress instead of beating yourself up because it’s not perfect.

What hope antidotes to perfectionism can you share? I would love to celebrate with you.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

10 Tips for Embracing Change

9 Apr

How are you adjusting to the mandatory timeline on your Facebook page? I found it interesting to see the various ways that people handled it. There were two distinct extremes – those who jumped right in and those who resisted until the very end. Most of us fell somewhere in the middle. Let’s face it, we get in our comfort zone and like for things to stay the same. Here are 10 tips for embracing change (of any kind) since it’s clear that changes will continue to accelerate in the future especially in the technical arena.

Look for possibilities

1. Stay open

How do you respond when you facing change? Do you retreat and close yourself off or do you stay open and ready to move forward.

2.  Research reasons for change

This can be a tough one because often we are not given the reasons for a change. When possible, ask the question. When leading through change keep in mind that research shows that letting others know the “because” of why something is happening increases their cooperation from 60 – 94 percent. (Ellen Langer)

3. Resist complaining about the negatives

Now this is really a tough one. We are always looking for ways to connect. With how many strangers have you talked about the awful weather? Avoid connecting on the negative implications of the change because that starts a pessimistic, hopeless way of thinking.

4. Explore benefits of change

Open your mind to the possibilities that may be hiding behind the inconvenience of change. If nothing else, you are remaining flexible as you find out more details about the change.

5. Find workarounds for the negatives

Creativity flows from solving problems. Take a step back and look at the negatives. See if others have come up with a workaround and if there isn’t, figure one out.

6. Share the benefits with others

Begin to share the benefits of the change. Be known for your positive approach to changes and not the outspoken critic of anything new.

7. Make the change before you have to

Stop procrastinating and dreading the change. Go ahead with it. It’s never as bad as you think it will be.

8. Show someone else how to do it

Once you’ve made the change, look around to see if there is someone who was where you were just a few days ago. Encourage them to make the change or, better yet, show them how easy it is to do.

9.  Adjust to the new ‘normal’

In the first few days, the change will seem unfamiliar and awkward. Resist the urge to complain. It won’t take you long to get used to it.

10.  Look for business opportunities

There are hidden opportunities that those who are resistant to change will ignore. What changes are happening in your industry or world? If  you follow these steps you will quickly become an expert and authority. It’s not that hard, yet you will need to get out of your comfort zone. That’s what successful entrepreneurs do well.

What changes are you going to embrace this week?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

5 Crazy Ways to Get Unstuck

7 Mar

Have you ever been stuck? Your plans were all laid out perfectly and you just knew that by this time you would have been at your destination (with time to spare). Instead, you are stuck in a mire of paperwork and nowhere near your projected timeline. You just want to give up. What can you do? Here are a few of my favorite ways to start moving in the right direction again:

5 Crazy Ways to Get Unstuck

1.  Get up and do some jumping jacks.

Nothing gets the juices going better than to start moving. Walk around the block. Make this part of your routine. Instead of putting your head in your hands, jump up and down a few times. However, be aware of those around you, as they will have proof of your insanity.

2.  Smile for no obvious reason

Smiling will drive people absolutely crazy and they will want to know what you are up to. Keep them guessing. The interesting part about facial expressions is that they telegraph your body that you are okay. I smile a lot when traveling because it is what I can control. When I get on an airplane, once I get to my seat I sit back and relax. I will close my eyes and encourage the corners of my mouth to go up in a smile. It works for me!

3.  Do the opposite of what you’ve been doing

This can be very scary because you love your rut. You’ve grown comfortable in doing things this way. Well, it’s not working. Shake things up a bit. What do you have to lose? Stop playing it safe. Stop doing what those around you are doing. Put a different spin on it. You know you’re doing what needs to be done if you feel uncomfortable. The point is to get out of your comfort zone.

4.  Create a mindmap

I can feel overwhelmed when I think about all I have to do. I start too many projects at once and have too much rattling around in my head. That’s when I need to get it down on paper. I get my timer and set it for 5 minutes. Then, I draw a circle in the middle of the sheet of paper and start drawing lines out from it. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. I just need to get it out of my head and in a place where I can look at it. This works for me every time.

5.  Start laughing

What do you do when feeling pressure? I like to laugh. The quicker you find humor in difficult situations, the sooner you will make progress. I am always looking for stories for my speaking engagements and blogs. I look for parallels, remember past struggles and rejoice in ways I’ve overcome. If nothing else, I say to myself, “This is going to be a great story one day.” And it always is just that.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to receive one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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