DAILY HEALTHY HABITS

Having just returned from a wonderful 6 week holiday hiking through the Swiss Alps and Rocky Mountains in Canada, I was reminded how easily our stress can sneak up on us with the constant demands of our busy life, and how rewarding it is to take time out to relax and rejuvenate and recharge the batteries and do something you really love to do. For us that is getting out into the great outdoors and exploring beautiful places as we travel.

It is wonderful to reward ourselves with a special holiday however what’s more important is what we do on a daily and weekly basis to ensure we schedule time out to relax and unwind.

We all experience stress from time to time.  However, when stress gets to be too much, it can take its toll on our health and happiness. Having effective strategies to reduce stress levels is essential in restoring our inner peace, health and well-being.

Start today to create daily healthy habits and notice how more relaxed you feel.  Here are some guidelines to start you on your way….

  • Exercise – is a powerful way to reduce stress and can provide an effective release of negative emotions and also decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost.
  • Eat to stay on top – stress also wears down the immune system, which is why we get sick during challenging times.  To counteract this, eat a healthy balanced diet to boost your immune system.
  • Time for you – everyone needs time to relax and recover from the stresses of the day, so schedule time to do the things you love to do and that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
  • Simplify your life – simplifying life is a great way to reduce stress, cut out extra commitments that don’t serve you, change relationships that stress you, and change activities that you don’t enjoy.  Take stock of what you do in your life that is creating pressure and things that you don’t enjoy and make the necessary changes.
  • Get organised – being organised is the best way of creating extra time in your life and cutting down stress.  Prioritise activities and responsibilities, ensuring you schedule in time for the most important things in your life i.e. family time, you time, exercise, etc.

What will you do today to ensure you take time out for you to create more peace, health and happiness?

CREATING PERSONAL EXCELLENCE

The key to creating your personal and business success is to understand yourself and work towards personal mastery – being aware of exactly who we are reflects in every aspect of our personal life, relationships and our business life.

One of my favourite quotes is:

“No man is free who is not a master of himself.” (Epictetus)

Part of my mission in life is to always be working towards being the best I can be in all areas of my life, as well as being an inspiring role model for my family, friends and clients. This is not always easy on those days when life throws a curve ball at you, or you have a challenging situation in relationships or you’re just under the pump and having a bad day. That’s when it takes a lot of self-awareness and self-discipline to stay on track to be your best self.

So, how do we get to know ourselves better and create personal mastery?

Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Have conscious awareness – become aware of your thoughts, because your thoughts determine how you feel, and how you feel will determine how you act.
  • Become aware of our emotional reactions – when you are able to notice how you react to situations on a daily basis you then have the ability to change them in a positive way.
  • Be aware of your attitudes – are you starting every day with an optimistic mindset or are you focusing on the things that are not working out for you.
  • Discomfort is a prerequisite for success – Trying to stay in your comfort zone and letting fear get the best of you will always stop you from being your best self. In order to achieve any worthy goals, you must start realizing that discomfort is a prerequisite for success.
  • Take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to you – Even if it seems like it, you are 100% responsible for everything that happens to you. What ever is showing up in your life is a result of the choices you made. Taking responsibility for your choices and your thoughts and actions and make them positive and moving towards your goals and notice how things change for the better.
  • Set aside a specific time each week for personal reflection. Having a consistent weekly review is one of the most powerful ways to better focus your attention, realign your priorities, and make sure you’re making progress towards your goals. Schedule in you diary at least 30 minutes at the end of each week and ask questions, and write down your answers in your journal: What did I learn this week? What did I accomplish? What do I need to improve on? Have I made progress towards my short & long-term goals? What new ideas do I have? What did I learn this week that inspires me?

Become more aware of who you really are and become the master of your destiny!

JUGGLING OUR PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL PRIORITIES

I constantly hear people around me saying, “I’m just too busy”, “I don’t have time to do it all”, “there’s not enough hours in a day”. Does that sound familiar to you?

To live a fulfilling, balanced life we need to be more in conscious control of our habits and lifestyle.  Effective personal management creates freedom.

Having spent 15 years of the first part of my career in professional health care and nursing, I spent a good deal of time with people who were faced with a terminal illness or potentially fatal diagnosis.

The common thread with these people was the realisation that so much of their life had been caught up with doing the urgent things that showed up in life every day, and that they neglected the most important things, which was usually their family, relationships and their health and time out for themselves.

You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to neglect the important things in your life and give in to the urgent ones.  One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is, not only to tell the two apart, but also to be able to prioritise your time between the two.

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused on the important things in life:

  • Determine what your values in life are – Our values drive our behaviour and our decisions, so being clear about what you value in life will help you to stay on track and make decisions regarding what’s most important to you.
  • Have a clear vision of your future – Having clarity around your long and short-term vision will also allow you to prioritise things that are most important to you.
  • Set goals for all areas of your life. – Keep life balanced by setting goals in all areas of life e.g. family and relationships, health and fitness, finances, business, personal time out and hobbies etc.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day planning – When we plan and prioritise, we control events instead of falling prey to events that control us.  When we plan our most important tasks and events, we reduce the amount of time they take, improve the quality of the results they produce and reduce the stress in our lives.

I want to share with you a thought-provoking excerpt from the famous psychologist and author, Denis Waitley.

You may have heard the story about the analogy of the “circus juggler” to each of us as we try to balance our personal and professional priorities.  I have heard the story repeated by many keynote speakers and have used it in previous books, but have never been able to trace the identity of the original author.

When the circus juggler drops a ball, he lets it bounce and picks it up on the next bounce without losing his rhythm or concentrations.  He keeps right on juggling.  Many times we do the same thing.  We lose our jobs, but get another one on the first or second bounce.  We may drop the ball on a sale, an opportunity to move ahead, or in a relationship, and we either pick it up on the rebound or get a new one thrown in to replace what we just dropped.

However, some of the balls or priorities we juggle don’t bounce.  The more urgent priorities associated with self-imposed deadlines and workloads have more elasticity than the precious, delicate relationships which are as fragile as fine crystal.  Balance involves distinguishing between the priorities we juggle that bounce from the ones labelled “loved ones”, “health” and “moral character” that may shatter if we drop them.

The reason I always ask my seminar attendees to list the benefits of reaching their goals is so they can arrange them in the true order of importance to them, and give them sufficient amount of attention as they juggle them within their time constraints.

Handle your priorities with care.  Some of them just don’t bounce!

10 TIPS FOR AN EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY NEW YEAR

It’s hard to believe the first month or the year is over! I don’t know about you but I had a great Christmas and holiday break and also overindulged in all the festive goodies, and along with that all my usual routines and rituals went out the window.

So in January as I was getting focused and clarifying my goals for the year I noticed how sluggish I felt and my motivation was lagging a little.

I knew exactly what to do to get back on track and I am now feeling energised and motivated again.

Firstly I started my daily rituals – meditation, exercise, affirmations, gratitude and planning for a successful day. And next, time to let go of those indulgences and back into healthy eating.

Even though its now February, some clients are saying they are still trying to get motivated and energised. If you can relate to this holiday dilemma I thought you would enjoy and benefit from this article I found by Kristina Puga, here are her top tips to re-energise yourself…

10 tips for an emotionally healthy new year

It’s a brand new year, and you are anxious to start 2013 with vigor, but there’s a small problem – you’re feeling sluggish after about a month straight of holiday parties, drinking, and not eating right.

She says emotional health and energy are intrinsically tied to your overall, as well as what you eat.

“People are so overwhelmed with so many diets, they don’t realize processed food is making them ill,” says Puig, whose own doctor gave her antidepressants before she learned it was processed foods and sugar which were making her feel anxious and unwell.

Puig recommends doing one change a week to improve your physical and emotional health.

Here are her 10 tips to an emotionally healthy year:


1. The most important thing to do first is detox. —
Cut out sugar, processed foods and alcohol from your diet for a good month, at least. They are depressants, physically and mentally; they suppress your immune system. Puig recommends Stevia if you need a sweetener, as it’s ‘s not going to harbour any sort of side effects like other sweeteners do. Certainly, if you can keep this up as a lifestyle, even better.

2. Start your day with a motivational quote. — Whether you stick them on your nightstand or your Facebook triggers something and changes your frame of mind. Puig says that’s one of the biggest things that have helped her, especially in becoming a motivator for others. You can subscribe to receive them daily in your email, or even download a free app for your smartphone.

3. Exercise — even if for as little as 10 minutes. — It releases endorphins, and they make you happy. Ideally, it is great to do first thing to kick start your day, but get it in whenever you can get it in. Even if you turn on your radio while making dinner, that’s better than not doing anything at all. If you enjoy running, swimming — whatever you enjoy doing, that’s what you should do in order to keep it up.

4. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. — It can be something as simple as wheat toast with peanut butter. This will set your energy and pace for the day — not just physical, but emotional energy, too. If you start your day by skipping breakfast, all you are doing is slowing down your metabolism and your emotional energy as well. If you are not hungry, that’s a huge sign that your metabolism has shut down and not working properly. Puig says it took her four months to get her metabolism working properly like a well-oiled machine. She says if you skip breakfast for long enough, you’re going to start storing fat in places you used to not store fat — this is a red flag.

5. Increase your Omega-3 intake. — This can be found in walnuts, avocados, olive oil and fish oil. Omega-3 helps with the brain, metabolism and helps you lose weight. Puig highly suggests fish oils before bed, as they will help you sleep and feel better. They also help people with depression, as they improve emotional energy.

6. Say “yes” to good carbs. — Make sure you have complex carbohydrates at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This includes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread – and then fit in your snacks with Omega-3s in between. You want to stagger it to keep your energy stable all day long. This is better than having a coffee and a doughnut for a midday snack, which will give you a sugar high and then crash. Puig maintains great energy the entire day by eating apple slices with natural almond butter, or avocado and sliced turkey roll-ups. As a national fitness competitor, she says she eats six to seven times a day — even Greek yoghurt and an ounce of crushed walnuts and honey before bed — which helps her sleep better and helps keep her metabolism up.

7. Drink a lot of water. — The key is drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds you consuming 75 ounces of water. And drink more, if you are trying to lose weight. When people are tired, they think, ‘Let me eat a candy bar,’ but sometimes all they need is water. For every ounce of caffeinated beverage, you are taking away an ounce of water. It’s also great for your skin and relieves headaches.

8. Get rid of the deadweight friends. — Negative people can drag you down emotionally and be very draining. Determine who is anchoring you down, and your real friends pushing you forward. You have to take care of you first. Puig says she has had a better life after doing this and feels she’s setting an example to her four children. She says to surround yourself with positive people, because in this day and age no one is looking out for you but you.

9. Sleep. — So many people aren’t getting enough sleep and that affects their emotional well-being. Not many people know how to turn off the light and roll over anymore, causing them to burn out. Start turning the television off and putting your phone away an hour before bed. Puig says she has noticed her children unwind much better after doing this. She says it’s just a habit that most people have lost in this error of technology. Find something else to do to unwind like reading, meditating, or chatting with your spouse. Have some sort of routine to re-learn how to turn off the light and go to sleep.

10. Set short-term goals. — These help with emotional well-being. Puig says she lost 40 pounds in 2004, by setting short-term goals. She says making one change a week, such as doing pushups on her toes instead of her knees, helped her keep pushing herself.

by Kristina Puga

Let me know what you are doing differently to increase your energy and emotional health. I certainly know that incorporating these tips into my everyday routine does make a massive difference.

Enjoy starting the year off in a healthy and inspiring way.

Imagine having less stress and more peace and happiness

Have you ever noticed when two people in identical, high-stress situations, that one of them gets stressed out and the other one handles the situation with ease and grace?

It’s because of the different ways they internalize what’s going on.  Stress doesn’t exist in the outside world; it just exists inside your head.  It’s up to you which way you choose to perceive it.

Stress is an internal phenomenon.

And remember – stress is not good or bad.  It just IS.  We need a certain amount of stress to motivate us but we need to understand ourselves to know when “too much” is having an adverse effect on our mind and body.

Your reaction to stress can become a habit.  So, as the famous quote by Socrates, “Know thyself”, it is important to become aware of how you respond and react to situations and people so you can make positive changes.

The good news is you can change your habits.

So take charge and be your own boss – make a conscious choice to be happy, relaxed and stay positive by using these five strategies:(I guarantee that if you use them every day, they will make a massive positive difference in your life).

  1. Use the power of your choice – you have the ability to make choices.  Once you realize that you have a choice between being stressed or staying calm and relaxed, you can then create healthy new habits and alternatives to stress.
  2. Choose to create a new meaning about the person or event – your mind labels everything that happens to you, to reduce worry or stress, choose to make up a more positive meaning about the event or person.
  3. Understand what you can and cannot control. Once you accept the fact that you can’t control an event or person, you can take action to change yourself and your thoughts about the situation.
  4. See other viewpoints – imagine the situation if you were standing in the other persons’ shoes, how might you feel?
  5. Learn to let go. Perhaps the hardest of all skills.  One easy way to let go is to take a look around, observe someone else experiencing distress, step out of your world and step into theirs, and then help them.  It is amazing how much better you will feel.

Have a positive and productive week.

A Quick tip to De-Stress

Hi

Here is a quick tip to keep stress levels down and feeling energized everyday.

Have a great week!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuoFClYaR1s]

Less Stress, More Success

Having just returned from our Bali Women’s Retreat, I was reminded how easily our stress can sneak up on us with the constant demands of our busy life, and how rewarding it is to take time out to relax and rejuvenate and recharge the batteries.

We all experience stress from time to time. However when stress gets to be too much, it can take its toll on our and health and happiness, so having effective strategies to reduce stress levels are essential in restoring our inner peace, health and wellbeing.

Start today to create daily healthy habits and notice how more relaxed you feel. Here’s a few tips to start you on your way…

  1. Exercise –is a powerful way to reduce stress and can provide an effective release of negative emotions and also decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost.
  2. Eat to stay on top – stress also wears down the immune system, which is why we get sick during challenging times. To counteract this, eat a healthy balanced diet to boost your immune system.
  3. Time for you – everyone needs time to relax and recover from the stresses of the day, so schedule time to do the things you love to do and that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
  4. Simplify your life – simplifying life is a great way to reduce stress, cut out extra commitments that don’t serve you, change relationships that stress you, and change activities that you don’t enjoy. Take stock of what you do in your life that is creating pressure and things that you don’t enjoy and make the necessary changes.
  5. Get organized – being organized is the best way of creating extra time in your life and cutting down stress. Prioritise activities and responsibilities, ensuring you schedule in time for the most important things in your life i.e. family time, you time, exercise etc.

Enjoy creating a stress free week…

Living a life on Purpose

My purpose here is to inspire and motivate you to live a life on purpose and with conscious choice. I will also be sharing tips on leading a life in balance and give you some tools and strategies to create personal mastery and success in your life.

To get started, have you thought about what you want to create this year – do you want it to be different from last year, what else would you like to create…?  If you haven’t thought about this, written it down and are very clear on what you do want to create, there is a good chance you will just get a repeat of last year.

As an individual, when was the last time you sat down and wrote your vision for your life? Do you know what is your life purpose and what brings meaning to your life?

If you are a business owner or a leader in an organisation, when was the last time you felt you were in control and driving forward with passion and enthusiasm and getting the results for yourself and your team.

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to take time out to recharge your batteries and check in if you are on course or are you just attending to the urgent demands in your personal and business life.

Make a conscious choice now, to schedule in your diary, timeout on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.  I am flying out tomorrow morning to go to our women’s retreat in Bali which is all about taking time out to relax, rejuvenate and recharge our batteries and have time for self reflection on where we are at now and where we would like to be.(Visit – www.baliretreat.com.au.)  This is something we do twice a year to give women this opportunity.

However, even though I think it’s important to go on a yearly retreat, it is