When people think about self-care, they often imagine a list of things that they need to do for themselves. So, they check the boxes, making sure that they’re exercising, drinking enough
water, sleeping enough, eating the right food. All of these things belong to the basic category of self-care. If we are doing these things, then it must mean we are taking care of ourselves, right?
There is some truth to this. These are the basics. This is what we need to do in order to sustain our health.
However, self-care is much deeper than checking these boxes. Our self-care is more about how we are able to take care of ourselves in each and every moment – this includes all of our behaviors, thoughts, and emotional experiences. It is more than diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, and the occasional massage. Each and every act in our life either cares for us and supports us, or it does not.
Our ability to care for ourselves is also a sign of how much we have healed ourselves up to this point in time. So self-care is both a way of seeing how much we have healed ourselves and a
way of healing ourselves.
When we give ourselves something that we didn’t have in the past – if we take care of ourselves in a way we weren’t taken care of in the past, or if we love ourselves in a way that we weren’t loved in the past, or any other way that we give to ourselves something in the present that undoes or rebalances what was done or not done in the past – it is powerfully
healing. So as we give ourselves the care that we may have missed out on, it lifts us to an entirely different place, a whole new level of healing.
However, there are a number of things that get in the way of receiving this deep healing through our self-care. For example, we may have learned ways of caring for ourselves that we were taught were helpful but actually are less so. Someone could think that they’re eating in a healthy way because that is what they’ve been taught is healthy, unaware that what they’re eating is actually really harmful for them. This type of misconception can happen in every area of our life. What we eat is just one example.
Another way that we become limited in our ability to care for ourselves is through our thoughts and perceptions about who we are and what we deserve. We cannot care for ourselves if we believe that we’re not worthy of it. These beliefs, which we often learn in our childhood, teach us to cancel out our wants and needs. We become blind to what it is that we need. We become out of tune with what it is that we’re wanting or needing in any given moment.
Because of this, we might reach out to various different things that are maybe less healthy, less useful, less caring of ourselves. In part, self-care is actually learning what it is that we need. Like, what are these things that maybe we’ve lost sight of yet are truly supportive of who we are and who we want to be and how we want to live our lives: one is the habits that we develop, another is the way that we have lost sight of what is good for us.
There are also institutional structures in place that actually lead us away from caring for ourselves. We’re taught to evaluate ourselves based on our ability to persevere and work really hard. We are taught to evaluate our own goodness according to how much we sacrifice for those around us. As we become aware of these cultural influences on our ability to care for ourselves, we can peel back another layer of what has been getting in our Way.
Self-care is a foundational element to doing personal development work. It is both an act that keeps us healthy and one that heals us. There are a number of challenges to being able to really care for ourselves. Recognizing the obstacles that are in the way of our self-care will help us to be more prepared in our efforts and proud of our successes.
For more about self care take a look at my article >>> “On Self Care”
Start your year off right and keep it going right by skipping your resolutions and heading straight for self-acceptance. Sometimes, the bigger changes come when we are willing to first accept who we are right now before trying to change it.
If you want more happiness and fulfillment you need to pay attention to where it is in your life. Then deliberately choose more of it.
Self care is essential to you overall well being. Too often, it falls by the wayside. Make a point of regularly taking the time to take care of yourself. Check out #selfcaresunday on social media for great self care ideas from people all over the web.
Find one thing (yes — just one) that you want to challenge yourself to get better at this year. Make consistent efforts to improve in this area. And remember that progress measured in inches is just as valuable as progress measured in yards!
What is not serving you? Whether it is old emotions or clothes that don’t fit free, yourself from what is no longer serving you.
Being a beginner can be scary but it is also where the spark of life resides. Bring in some novelty and expand your horizons.
Is there a habit you have been meaning to change? Maybe there are several. Spend some time thinking about one are you can realistically make a change in right now that will have the most impact on all of your life. Then take action.
Your dreams are meant to be realized! Make sure that at least one item on your bucket list gets folded into your upcoming year.
Are people grouchy or are you frustrated by some aspect of humanity? Well, what can you do about it? Make a point of choosing action instead of apathy.
Years go by so fast. It is easy to have time slip away and not to send some words of love and appreciation to those who matter. Create a regular schedule around showing your appreciation.
Feel free to download this easy reminder to stay on track all year long!
Here’s a list of the elements I consider essential to living a deeply fulfilling life.
Does one of these essential elements particularly resonate with you? If so, I suggest that you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it every day. Every little reminder you create for yourself will help you stay on track!
This week I want to talk about personal power and empowerment. What does it mean be in your power? What gets you there, what holds you there, and what gets you off track? When you know more about these dynamics you are able to harness really deep forces for creation and transformation.
What does it mean? The term empowerment was popularized in the 80’s. It was based on the idea of “giving to, or increasing, the strengths of other groups of people whether those are educational, spiritual or otherwise.” Personal empowerment then became a buzz phrase for when we “give” ourselves back our own power or when we feel our own sense of power without the need to hold it over another.
Like many expressions of the personal development field, the phrase personal empowerment states something in a way that helps us understand how to shift our perspective. We have the ability to do or say things that will give us more power. We have the ability to hold our power in a way that is more about our deep respect for our self than it is about holding it over or using it on another. Personal power and our own empowerment is the result of our knowing we have the ability to choose and in influence the many aspects of our life.
What gets you there? If we have the ability to empower ourselves then how do we do this? What are the practical everyday types of things that you can do to feel confident and able to move forward with whatever you want to create in your life.
From an energetic perspective, being in our power overlaps with other experiences such as being centered, grounded, connected to our self, or clear (other expressions that help us understand HOW to be more powerful.) When we cultivate these states, we cultivate a stronger sense of personal power.
What holds you there? Once we have discovered our own power, we soon find that we can just as quickly lose sight of it. To stay connected with our power, we need to put ourselves in environments that support us and learn how to support ourselves. We need to need to take care of ourselves in the deepest way possible. And, be more and more aware of the situation in which we lose touch with our personal power.
What gets you off track? Standardly, what gets people off track are the core patterns that disempowered them in the first place. Somewhere along the line, you were hurt while being in your fullness and this had you take a dramatic action to try and protect yourself. Once we have reclaimed our power we are most likely to let it go when we face replicas of these past events. You can easily find out what gets you off track by figuring out what you are afraid of or afraid of having happen.
Why is this really important? Staying connected to your personal power is foundational to being able to create the life and business that you want. Without it, we do not know how to see each situation as an opportunity and each moment as a choice. This limits what we can create and often leaves us playing the role of the victim rather than the role of the victor.
What is personal power and how can you connect to it and use it to propel your life? This week on Real Answers Radio, Dr. Kate discusses how personal power is linked to being able to create and manifest what you want in your life. From this perspective, tools for cultivating personal power are one of the most important things we can learn. Tune in to explore what being empowered really means and what you can do to step for fully into it.
It is human to avoid. This trait probably even predates homo sapiens, by about a zillion years. The creatures who stayed in their holes in the ground survived, while the ones who ventured outside were eaten. It ain’t survival of the fittest. It’s survival of the most anxious.
The survival strategy of remaining frozen in your burrow clearly works to a point, but when used willy-nilly, it becomes hard to get anything done. It leads to that old bug-a-boo, procrastination. Freud’s favorite word, neurotic, can be defined as using a survival strategy after its outlived its usefulness. This genetic atavism leads to the number one problem that people present in my psychotherapy office: “I know what I should do – I even know what I wanna do – why don’t I do it?”
This monumental impediment and its fix, especially around creativity, is the subject of Steven Pressfield’s terrific little book, The War of Art.
Pressfield uses another old Freudian word to describe the problem: resistance. This progress-stopper has been called by lots of names: the gremlin, the devil, maleficent, the underminer, the underdog. Like anyone who has encountered the power of the thing that prevents us from writing that novel, inventing that app, working to end sexual abuse, or losing that fifty pounds, Pressfield knows that this is an uncanny force of indomitable strength, that by all appearances has a life of its own.
Pressfield tells us that the first thing we need to do to beat this damn thing is to acknowledge its existence and understand its power. Stay close to your friends, but get closer to your enemies, kind of thing. In pithy, compelling, powerful, and entertaining chapters, Pressfield does as good a job as anyone describing just what this nasty little demon is like. If you want to know what’s getting in your way, you’ll find the answer here.
The author then goes on to give us the solution. It’s also pretty simple: do it anyway. This requires, just in the beginning, feeling fear. Avoidance, or resistance, happens so we don’t feel the fear. Instead, we feel indifference, boredom, tiredness, laziness, or we come up with all kinds of excuses – my toenail itches, it’s too cold outside, my mother wasn’t nice to me – rather than feel the fear that actually doing something involves. So, if you take action, you will be scared. After all, you, in all probability, will screw up and fail. But who cares? It’s not like you are going to get eaten by a saber-toothed tiger.
Once you get through that hard part, and you devote yourself to the daily work come hell-or-high-water, then, Pressfield tells us, a miraculous thing happens. Other forces – benevolent forces – come to our aid. The devil has us if we are sitting on the couch with our fingers up our noses. But the minute we just start and practice, something like God comes to visit.
Here, Pressfield is right on. He tells us not to wait for passion or inspiration, because it isn’t there in the beginning. We don’t get it for free. Inspiration is a gift we receive for hard work. It comes long after we begin.
I’ve watched these powers at work over and over again in my own, and others, lives, and I’ve tried to enlighten my clients about this about every way I could think of. But Pressfield lays it out better than I can manage. The only part I don’t like is when he tells people not to go to therapy! Having tried every technique against this formidable foe, I accept that there’s no magic formula to what is gonna hit the magic button for someone.
Just buying the book, and even reading it, is no guarantee of getting the message. When that inner critic is in force, he can even snark out Pressfield’s sage advice. But don’t listen to that cigar chomping skeptic that sits on your left shoulder who tells you that Pressfield doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Pressfield isn’t somebody who found it all easy and just gets to lord it over us mortals with his elephant poop wisdom. It took Pressfield seventeen years to have his inner breakthrough. And when he did, at fifty-two, he finally sold something. He wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was turned into a movie directed by Robert Redford, starring Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron. Now, if that’s not a proof that miracles come to those who just keep doing it, I don’t know what is.
reblogged from www.glennberger.net Dr. Berger is a Dr. Berger is a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, business coach, artist coach, and young person’s mentor.
In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways. To alleviate some of those troubles we can examine some academic research on motivation, discipline, and habit building, and break down their findings into actionable steps that any aspiring habit-builder can put into place.
1. Make “micro quotas” and “macro goals”
In a fascinating study on motivation, researchers found abstract thinking to be an effective method to help with discipline. In the most basic sense, “dreaming big” is pretty good advice after all. And since a variety of research around the self-determination theory shows us that creating intrinsic motivators (being motivated to do things internally, not through punishments or rewards) is an essential process of building habits that stick, you need to find a way to balance this desire to dream big with your day-to-day activities, which often do not result in quick, dramatic changes.
The answer is to create what I call “micro quotas” and ”macro goals.” Your goals should be the big picture items that you wish to someday accomplish, but your quotas, are the minimum amounts of work that you must get done every single day to make the bigger goal a reality. Quotas make each day approachable, and your goals become achievable because of this.
Writer/developer Nathan Barry has made for a great case study of the use of these quotas as someone who forced himself to write 1000 words per day come hell or high-water. The result was three self-published books resulting in thousands of dollars in sales.
2. Create behavior chains
Creating sticky habits is far easier when we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them. The concept of if-then planning is built around environmental “triggers” that we can use to let us know that it’s time to act on our habit. Also known implementation intentions, this tactic involves picking a regular part of your schedule and then building another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit.
For instance, instead of “I will keep a cleaner house,” you could aim for, “When I come home, I’ll change my clothes and then clean my room/office/kitchen.” Multiple studies confirm this to be a successful method to rely on contextual cues over willpower. So the next time you decide to “eat healthier,” instead try “If it is lunch time, Then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”
3. Eliminate excessive options
According to a variety of research on self-control —and expounded upon in books like The Willpower Effect — there is great power in being boring. Take, for instance, Barack Obama’s insistence on never wearing anything but blue and gray suits. According to the president, “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make too many decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
The president’s belief is well supported by the research—Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues’ study on self-control found that making repeated choices depleted the mental energy of their subjects, even if those choices were mundane and relatively pleasant. According to the Harvard Business Review, if you want to maintain long term discipline, it’s best to “Identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane — and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible. In short, make fewer decisions.”
For lasting change, the steps you take must ultimately change your environment and schedule. Stop buying snacks if you want to stop snacking (no willpower needed), pack a very similar lunch every day of the week, and embrace the power of routine to get the necessary done each day.
4. Process plan (but don’t fantasize)
The step that many people skip when they fantasize about building a certain habit is they never clearly answer why they want the change to occur. It may seem like a small detail, but it plays a huge role in keeping our motivation up over time. A variety of research shows us that excessive fantasizing about results can be extremely detrimental to the stickiness of any habit.
According to this study from UCLA, the mistake is in what we visualize. Researchers found that those participants who engaged in visualizations that included the process of what needed to be done to achieve the goal (ex: fantasizing about learning another language, by visualizing themselves practicing every day after work) were more likely to stay consistent than their peers (that visualized themselves speaking French on a trip to Paris). The visualization process worked for two reasons:
Planning: visualizing the process helped focus attention on the steps needed to reach the goal.
Emotion: visualization of individual steps led to reduced anxiety.
5. Eliminate “ah-screw-its”
New habits are often very fragile, and it is for this reason that we must eliminate any source of friction that may lead us astray. These “ah-screw-it” moments (hat tip to blogger Derek Halpern) are the specific moments where you find yourself saying, “Screw this, it’s not worth the effort!” A more scientific take on this phenomenon is called the What the Hell Effect, which explains why we are so likely to abandon ship with a new habit at the first slip-up.
The solution? Examine your habit and find exactly where things start to break down. In a great example of putting this in action, Author and 99U speaker Ramit Sethi has explained how he improved his gym attendance by finding where things would slip:
When I sat down to analyze why I wasn’t going to the gym, I realized: my closet was in another room. That meant I had to walk out in the cold [to] put on my clothes. It was easier to just stay in bed. Once I realized this, I folded my clothes and shoes the night before. When I woke up the next morning, I would roll over and see my gym clothes sitting on the floor. The result? My gym attendance soared by over 300%.
You can even incorporate an “if-then” scenario once you find the culprit. For instance, if fatigue is stopping you from playing guitar after work, you could set up a system of “If I’m feeling tired after work, then I will take a 20-minute nap and listen to music for five minutes to get myself motivated.”
What about you? How do you create new regular habits?
Originally published on 99U
is the author of Sparring Mind, where he takes a fresh look at human behavior, productivity, habits, and creative work. (more…)
I was asked by a client of mine, “If you had one year to live what would you do?”
I thought about this for a bit. I could not think of anything that I would change. It is not that I don’t want to do things more than I have already but there is nothing that I have not done to some degree –enough to be content.
I even questioned myself about it, “Can that even be true?” But still I felt like I would wake up and keep living the way that I have been living.
But then it came to me: I would eat more ice cream!
No but seriously, there have been times when I asked myself this question and the answers I got were not so light-hearted.
I am an independent and individualistic person. And still, I have woken up some days to realize that I bought some way of doing things in my life that is not right for me but I chose because I either did not know enough to make my own choice or because I was concerned that the way that I wanted to do it was the wrong way.
Point is, this is going to happen so matter who you are and how focused you are on your fulfillment. We all get off track from time to time and it is part of the process of learning and growing to try different things and have some of them fit and some of them not.
However, to make sure that we create the lives we really want, we need to continuously check in with ourselves about a few things:
1. Know yourself. Take time for inward reflection so that you know what you are feeling and are clear on the actions. This is vital for creating self knowledge and a life that really works for you.
2. Evaluate your life on a regular basis. We need to take time to take stock of our lives. What areas of your life might you be neglecting?
3. Do a regular house cleaning. Pay attention to what is dragging you down or outdated and clear it out. I mean this both literally and internally.
4. Focus on what you want. To really have the life that you want you need to spend time actively attending to what you want to create.
Having the life that you know is yours to create takes a little bit of work but the rewards far outweigh the effort.
Yup! The truth is an often-overlooked key to success. Here are three reasons why:
Reason #1: The Truth Keeps You in Integrity
Oh, what tangled webs we weave! If the purpose of personal growth is to see ourselves and others clearly, then lies definitely get in the way. When we lie, we get out of integrity with ourselves. We could almost say that we lose a piece of ourselves in the process of lying.
Reason #2: The Truth Connects You
Some people like to convince themselves that small lies don’t really hurt anyone. But what is the real price of being dishonest? Distance. When we are dishonest with others it is like saying we don’t want to see a part of someone or we don’t want them to see a part of us. It is a judgment that the other person is not strong enough to deal with the reality of things — or that we aren’t, either.
Reason #3: The Truth Makes You Money
I think it is safe to say we are all sick of hype and distortions of the truth that are in our face every single day. The bottom line is that, no matter what you do for a living, being truthful earns you big points with others. If you tell the truth, people can count on you — not to be sold to — but to help them make the choices they need to make to get what they want.
The new year is approaching and many of us take this as a time to review what happened over the past months and to envision what we would like to have for ourselves in the ones ahead.
Here are some powerful questions to help you get clear on where you are at and what will best serve you in the future. These questions go right to our core beliefs to uncover what foundation we have created to get what we really want out of life.
Are your core beliefs supporting what you most desire? By taking your own personal inventory, you can begin to see yourself with greater clarity and perspective. Remember to be compassionate during this process and not be overly judgmental and critical. Let us always accept ourselves fully for who we are in this moment.
Expect some resistance to doing an inventory like this. Simply bringing awareness to your belief structures will begin to clean out what no longer serves you and like it or not, we all resist change. However, committing to finishing a list like this will have powerful ramifications on what you are able to create for yourself. Commit now to doing a questions or tow a day and you will be surprised and what you learn.
Did you find any questions or obstacles arise when you worked on these questions? We would love for you to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes, busy workdays can feel like a marathon with the finish line still miles away. You enter your office early to find a mountain of work waiting for you, a full inbox, and a calendar blocked out with meetings. It’s no wonder so many of us have grown accustomed to working later and later hours.
In a recent study by Accenture, work-life balance — ahead of money, recognition, and autonomy — was the key determinant for more than half of men and women in regards to whether or not they have a successful career. And if you’re regularly working late or not giving yourself days off, your work-life balance is at stake.
I firmly believe in breaking the time clock to do away with the traditional “9-to-5,” but spending every evening knocking out work can be hazardous. Completing your work during designated business hours isn’t just possible, it’s also necessary for staying on top of your career.
If your 40-hour week has transformed into something a bit closer to a 60-hour week, you owe it to yourself to review the issue. Get to the bottom of where the majority of your time is being spent during your work day to allow for increased time management and productivity. If you find yourself wasting the majority of your time managing your inbox or in meetings, it may be time for some restructuring.
Knockout big tasks first
Rearrange your schedule to ensure you hit the ground running every day by tackling bigger projects as soon as you get to the office. You’re actually at peak performance earlier in the day, so taking on big tasks earlier in the day means you’ll be likely to achieve more. Move your less important tasks to be taken care of after lunch.
Create a schedule
Don’t just put together a half-hearted to-do list, go a step further and establish a schedule for your workday. For example, if you’re planning on working for eight hours, allot an estimated time for each project or task — even the big projects — you’ve got on your to-do list. Avoid falling into the time-wasting trap of replying to emails and returning phone calls. Instead, allot 30 minutes a day to take care of all of your follow-ups instead of regularly staring at your phone and inbox.
Become militant about creating a distraction-free workspace. Close out all unnecessary tabs on your browser, silence your phone, and put your headphones in if it’ll help you work.
Turn off autopilot
Sometimes when you’re racing to finish your to-do list, it’s easy to go into autopilot mode until you complete your work. Taking a few breaks will actually help you work more efficiently and effectively. Once you’ve completed a big task, get up from your desk to stretch, grab something to drink, and just refresh your brain before moving onto the next thing.
Learn the power of saying “no”
You have a busy day ahead of you, and yet you still accepted that conference-call invitation. Sometimes we forget how important it is to say “no” when we’re busy. While it isn’t always possible to turn down every meeting invitation, try your best to make a case when you’re especially busy. For example, you can ask to leave early or have someone share meeting notes with you.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and end up turning your to-do list into far more than it really is. Simply focus on meeting the deadlines. If you find yourself anxious about your schedule for the next day or week ahead of you — which may be a reason why you work late — lay out your schedule to take a better look at what needs to be accomplished so you can establish a timeframe.
Know when you’re done
Stop spending your evenings in the office reworking things until they’re perfect. Establish a clear definition of the end result — when you’ve reached it, check out for the day.
Eliminating working late and leaving work at the office often comes down to better time management.
What are your go to tricks for managing your time at work?
Reblogged from thenextweb.com