Meditation helps, but doesn't address the root cause of your stress

 Photo by  Jared Rice  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, moments of zen.  All important to help you focus on the moment, and focus less on thoughts that are creating anxiety or depression.

The challenge though is that these are often temporary fixes, to the root issues that are creating the need for you to meditate.

If you are anxious about something that could happen in the future, or you’re depressed about situations in life that haven’t turned out the way you hoped, meditation can help you focus on this moment, and put on the back burner the issues you’re dealing with in life.

You’ll get relief and possibly rest after meditation exercises, and being mindful is a huge help to bring you present.  But does it fix the problems in your life?  Let’s look deeper.

We’ll start with anxiety.  Anxiety is worrying about a possible future state or situation/outcome.  You’re anxious for the results from your medical tests, or you’re worried about how your loved one will react to your last minute work meeting tonight.  Being mindful and meditation can get you focused on this moment, but you need to change your mindset that’s causing the anxiety in the first place.  

You need to create mental boundaries to prevent negative or worrisome ideas from renting space in your head.  This takes serious effort to create these boundaries, especially if you’ve never dealt with boundaries before.

Next up, depression.  Depression is worrying or being upset about events in the past, or things that led up to feelings today.  Similar to anxiety, you need boundaries to control your thoughts and how you react to these thoughts or issues.  

Having stronger mental and emotional boundaries in your life will make meditation work even better for you, and create a life of less stress, burnout, and other health issues.  

Another way of strengthening what meditation will do for you is to have consistent days.  I would love for you to get a free copy of my Successful Mornings checklist.  Click the link below for your own copy.

Also, if you need help with boundaries, visit, and send us a message so we can schedule a call.

Be well!

Boundaries and Burnout

Jonas Svidras

Oftentimes when we are in a role, or in a day job as we like to refer to them and you're also an entrepreneur launching a business, you have to be careful on balancing your time because nights and weekends will get gobbled up by the work that you're doing for your entrepreneur-based organization.

Of course, you have your day job which requires you to be focused and do the things that you're being paid to do. It's not an easy challenge, but there are many of us that are doing it and we do find it fulfilling. For some of us, we find that there are synergies between what we're doing and what we are trying to do.

The key component however in boundaries, especially when you're an entrepreneur, is picking the right one thing to focus on. There's no shortage of things that you can focus on when you're an entrepreneur. Marketing online, podcasts, blog posts, ClickFunnels, all the things you hear about and you read about and all important, all good tools to use.

What you need to do is really get down and hone in on what are you trying to accomplish with your organization. What's the core value of what you're trying to do? What's the core value of what you're offering to your clients, and do that. Go where your clients are. Focus and serve them in that arena.

If that's using blog posts and podcasts and ClickFunnels and other mechanisms, great. If it's face-to-face or one-on-one conversations, then do that. There's only so many hours in a day. We've heard that. The key is to spend the right time on the right things because when you're spending time on doing a hundred things, you're never going to get that one thing done. You're going to get, quite frankly, nothing done.

So, focus on the thing that you need to get done and get it done. Then celebrate it. Celebrate what you've accomplished because if you just continue to go down this path of do, do, do, do, do, you're not going to have anything to show for it once you get to that endpoint, whatever that endpoint looks like.

Until next time, be well.

Social Media is Funny

 Photo by  William Iven  on  Unsplash

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

One of the many ways that I engage the greater public is through social media. Over the years, I've been fortunate to connect with thousands of people via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Sorry, I don't use MySpace.

Social media is funny. It's meant to be social but when it comes down to it, rare is the instance that you'll actually meet people in person, unless you're connecting with people who you already know and this is just another way to communicate with them. When I've grown my network, I've been very intentional on adding people that I think I can provide value to and also get value from them, whether it's going to serve me or serve the people that I work with and know. If I see someone that I'm connected to social media ask for help or guidance then it's important for me to help them or at least guide in a direction of where they will get the help that they need. I've done this for years and I don't expect anything in return.

However, from time to time, I do ask for guidance and it's amazing how many people will come through and give me tips and ideas on where to find the information that I need. That's how it's supposed to work. No matter how popular or helpful you are, you're going to encounter people that we like to call on the internet as trolls. These people seem to take up residence on the internet with the intent to just pick on people and to make comments that aren't helpful or don't tie into what you're talking about. You may encounter some people that absolutely hate the world and they can be rude to you and they can take you off your game. Oftentimes, what will happen is you will encounter some people that are quite great and they'll praise you with everything that you need to be praised upon. On the content that you provide, the information that you share. You'll get some positive feedback.

There're going to be some people that, quite frankly, are going to make some comments that aren't in alignment with what's happening. Praise has its place, so does criticism, if it's correct. The key thing is to take each with a grain of salt, unless you have a low sodium diet, then stay away from the salt. What you want to do is make sure that you are thankful for the commentary, whether it's good or bad or indifferent.

The other day I received some criticism online about a message that I sent. Now, ironically I sent a very similar message to somebody else and received a lot of positive feedback and engagement. And while the message that I did receive that was negative did have some gems in it, overall, it was a crap filled message. It didn't serve me or serve that individual at all, quite frankly.

When I looked deeper into that individual, I noticed I'd been connected with them for a period of time on a couple different social media channels. I noticed that on one of their social media channels the top two messages that they had, quite frankly, were negative towards people that use social media in a certain way, which is ironic because they boast themselves and promote themselves as a social media expert. And I feel that they are. However, when you are branding yourself as something, whatever that happens to be, your premier real estate, the front page of your social media platform, whatever it happens to be, should be the products, offerings and services that you offer and not slamming other people on how they use or choose to use social media. Social media is fun, as I said before. It can be used by different people in different ways.

There's no shortage of comedy or humor or cats or funny videos on social media. If you're a brand and you're marketing your business, then that's what your social media should be based on. I'm not saying don't post pictures of what you eat or things that you have or collect or buy or anything like that. It's your social media channel. Use it how you want to. If you are a business then brand your social media as a business. You'll confuse your audience if you throw things that aren't in alignment with what we talk about. I talk about boundaries. I talk about getting your time back. So my posts tend to be aimed towards that. While yes, there'll be some other things in there as well because I am human, surprisingly. And I want to show people that I have a human element to life. Yes, I go eat places. I go to events. I enjoy things.

You want people to resonate with that because it's the whole idea with boundaries is so you can get time to do the things that you want to do and the things that you enjoy. So needless to say, when you get messaging that is negative, you have to let it roll off your back because it can throw you off and it can be demeaning and at the end of the day, it isn't helpful. So social media is one of those things that's great and we are able to connect with people all across the globe that we normally wouldn't have an opportunity to connect with. So take advantage of that. Be engaging. Be helpful to others. And it all goes around and it would be beneficial to you, your business, your brand, whatever you happen to be using social media for.

Until next time, be well.

Laws around Sexual Harassment Are Growing Across the Country

 Source:  Photo: Emilie Munson

Source:  Photo: Emilie Munson

From California to Connecticut, laws that aim to expand reporting, improve workplace training and eliminate secret settlement are being written by the various State governments.

We've seen stories of settlements over the past 10-15 years in the millions of dollars, so our tax dollars have been settling cases out of court.

While the financial impact of this is definitely a cause for concern, the fact there have been so many back room deals to settle makes it apparent that the environment of harassment has been larger than many have us have thought.

Companies need to take a long look at their current policies and procedures around protection of employees and the company around harassment.  

The challenge I see is that if there's a claim of harassment, often times the investigations are being handled internally.  That puts the organization at risk, of not being biased or creates a conflict of interest, depending on the parties involved.

If your organization is interested in an external review of your workplace violence and harassment policies and procedures, message me and we can schedule a call.

Be well!


Article sources:

Boundaries and Stress

 Photo by  Igor Ovsyannykov  on  Unsplash

Stress is something that happens when you don't have the right boundaries in your life and specifically, when you're trying to do too much and appease everyone and you're not taking care of yourself.

It's natural. You feel overwhelmed, which is a stressful situation, which in turn creates all types of mental and physical problems. In 369 days, I lost everything. One of the key causes of this was the stress that I was under to try to deliver everything that I was supposed to deliver, whether it was my job that had some unrealistic requests and my inability to protect myself with boundaries and a proper schedule, to the demands of providing for a family, and raising children, and navigating all kinds of different things. It added up and it created a pretty, pretty chaotic year for me.

You're probably feeling some stress right now. Winter months tend to be harder than others. We're still kind of reeling, if you're in a winter climate, dealing with the cold weather and the snow and possibly still recovering from the holidays which is D-A-zed-E, or D-A-Z-E, depending if you're in America or Canada.

Stress is taking a toll on your life and you need to figure out ways to address it. I share on Twitter and my other social media platforms a ton of resources on how to manage stress. There are different ways to go about it, but the key elements to take away from are

  1.  Getting proper rest, sleeping, a consistent sleep schedule, eating properly,
  2. Being able to keep tabs on your day, get rid of clutter in your home, if at all possible, because it's causing you stress trying to figure out where things are.

If you don't know where your keys are, then every morning, you're stressing out, trying to figure out where your keys are. Find a place for them, put them there. Always. That way, you never lose them. You don't have to think about it. They're just going to be there. Same thing with your clothes, pick your clothes out the night before like your mom told you to. There's a reason for that. The reason might be different from what your mom wanted to do. She was probably just trying to save some time to get you out the door so you didn't miss the bus or you weren't late to school.

In my situation, simplifying my clothes made a big difference. I don't have to think about what I'm wearing. The clothes I have fit more or less and everything else that I do on a daily basis is consistent. I don't have to think about it. It's autopilot, just like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting cleaned up, all of these things. I don't stress about because I know what's going to happen. I know when I'm going to be doing them, and I do them.

The other day, I was late to work because of the snowstorm and I was a few minutes late for an interview for a position that I'm hiring. I was able to message, because I was a rider, and not a driver in the car: don't text and drive people, and I was able to message that individual, indicating that I was going to be a few minutes late, which is not something that typically happens to me. Quite frankly, I don't remember the last time I was late to something. But sometimes, things happen, just like snowstorms.

I didn't stress about it. I had the capability to message that person and let them know that I was going to be running late. That immediately relieved my stress levels because I do not like being late. I feel that it is insulting to the other party when you are not on time. For me, it shows a lack of respect. I'm not harping you, if you are somebody that struggles with being on time, but it's something you want to take in mind. It does cause you stress or causes stress to others when people are late, so do your best to be on time.

There's again, many ways to manage stress, and I want to help you, if you are struggling with stress. Send me a message, and let's talk.

'Til next time: be well!

30 Days of Boundaries: Day 30 - The 369 Day System


Welcome to day 30 of the 30 days of Boundaries Series. I appreciate you all connecting and coming along this journey of what happened to me and the things that I do now to completely change how I go about my work life and my personal life. You can change your life in 30 days or less. There are many, many tools and tips that are available to you, they're out there.

However, as with anything, you can go to the hardware store and you can buy a tool and you can go home and you have this tool, but you may not know how to use it. That's where I come in. The 369 Day System that I have will help you navigate through the tools that I offer to help you get those boundaries in your life, to work through redesigning your work life, to redesigning your home life, the saying yes to the things you say yes to and no to the things you need to say no to.

It's important for you to have boundaries because if you don't, you'll have your own year of worst case scenarios. I see it happen time and time again. Everything that happened to me with the heart attack, the job loss, the car repossession and the home being foreclosed all were preventable, that I was responsible for those things happening. Yes, other parties were involved, but ultimately it was on me. My mission in life is to prevent that from happening to you.

The 369 System, it's not gonna take you 369 days. It's gonna take you less than that. There's many components of this system and one of the things that will be beneficial to you is the tools that we provide are gonna be easy to implement right away, from the interactions tracking mechanism to the must do tasks, to the ultimate to do list to a copy of my book, 369 Days. There's lessons in that book for you. A private Facebook group will also be available to you, where it will provide a safe zone for you, because often times, when we're struggling with issues in our life, we don't know who we can talk to. It's a safe zone, a judge free zone that will create an opportunity for you to ask questions and get answers not only from me, but your peers, and techniques that can help you reestablish those boundaries in your life to make sure that things are good to go.

Interruptions are crucial, I turn off all the notifications on my phone. I didn't use to, so my phone would be a sea of red dots with more or less every app that I use. I turned off all those notifications other than text messages and of course phone because I want those that are important to me can have access to me and I can respond to them in a timely fashion, but I don't need the notification on Instagram. I don't need the notification on Twitter or Facebook or any other apps, end of story.

What you want to do is make sure that you have boundaries in your life because when you do, you're gonna be able to live the life that you were designed to live. You wanna be able to live the life you want to live. No one wants to go through life and miss out on the things that they're missing out. They don't wanna miss their child's soccer practice or their daughter's recital or their play or an opportunity to go to a last concert or a sporting event that your friend got great tickets to. You don't wanna say I can't go because I got to work on this project, no, boundaries. Work on work while you're at work. Work on home when you're at home, be free to be able to do things.

This system's gonna help you. The 369 Day System, when I teach it individually, one on one with people, the cost exceed $10,000. It's not quick work, but it's efficient work and it'll make a gigantic change in your life in a very short period of time. So, no the product is not $10,000. That's not how this system works. The system is priced at $2,997, that's $2,997. Normally it would be well over $10,000. It's priced at $2,997 for a reason, because at that price point, more people are gonna be able to impact their lives and I'll be able to impact as many people as possible because as I said before, my mission in life is to save as many people as possible from have their own year of worst case scenarios like I did.

It's not fun losing your job. It's definitely not fun having a heart attack. It's horrible to have your family vehicle taken away from you and the loss of your home, it's your home, it's catastrophic and it's very devastating emotionally and physically. It's like where am I gonna put all my stuff now, so you can avoid all of that by having boundaries in your life and making the right choices.

The system will have all of the tools that I had mentioned, the interruptions, tracking list, the must do tasks, a copy of the book, the Facebook group, access to me, and access to the group to be able to ask questions and work through these changes, tools on how to speak to your boss, tools to speak to your partner or your spouse. When you're making a life change, you probably want to let them know that you're doing it because if you do something completely different than what you normally do, you're gonna confuse a lot of people. So, communication tips on how to do this.

The link here will provide the ability to signup for this package and then we'll get you into the private Facebook group and get you moving. If $2,997 is too steep of a one time price, we do have payment options available as well, because I want you to be able to get into this. I need you to do this. Not for me, I'm good, I have a great life, I want you to have a great life too. So, click here, and we will see you on the other side.

Be well.

30 Days of Boundaries Day 29: Return to Your Core

 Photo by  Esteban Lopez  on  Unsplash

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

When you don't have any boundaries in your life, you literally don't have the ability to do the things that you want to do. You're so focused on everything else but you, that your energy levels, motivation, just fall to the wayside, and you go to bed, but you don't sleep. You go to bed and you're not resting. You toss and turn because your brain is still trying to sort through everything that you went through or are going through. It's not a fun place to be. I know how you feel if you're in that state because I've been there. It wasn't fun. My 369 days didn't happen overnight, it built up over time. The challenge that we face is, when we're in the middle of it, or even at the beginning states of it, we don't even notice. I didn't notice until, literally, I was in the hospital and the cardiologist confirmed that I had a heart attack and that kicked off a chain of fun events.

Long story short, it was all preventable. I could have made different decisions, different choices, stood my ground, and had protections around me that would have prevented everything that happened. But I didn't, and lost it all. Good times. But, as I've referred to before and in conversations with people that know me well, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it forced me to get back to the core of who I am.

Each of us are different. Each of us have our own gifts and skills, nuances, quirks, we are all individuals. We all have common traits, but we are all individual in how we perceive things and how we choose to do things, and I love helping people figure those things out. It keeps me motivated. It puts a spring in my step. It's something that I know I'm called to do. It's my mission to help as many people as possible save themselves from themselves.

It's not this 100% transformation, although, for some people, it might be. It's small steps. Finding time. Ultimately, that's what this is all about. With boundaries, it's finding more time. The time for the things that you want to do, when you want to do them, where you want to do them. If you're working 16, 18, 20 hour days, you need more time. Well, I don't sell hour 26, 27, 28, that, unfortunately, is not in my repertoire, but what I do offer is an ability to better use your 24 hours. First and foremost, carve off eight hours for sleep. Carve off time to work out or exercise. Carve out time for lunch and breaks.

These are all important because if you don't do them, if you don't take a break, you are going to break, I guarantee it. It happens to everyone, including you. You are not Superman. I don't care if you own a Superman shirt. I don't. I own a Batman shirt, but I don't own a Superman shirt. Although, there's a photo of me as a kid wearing a Superman shirt, and, to this day, I'm a little perplexed by that, because I never really was a Superman guy. Regardless of what your favorite comic book character happens to be, you do not have superpowers when it comes to not resting. You have superpowers, that's a given. You may not know what those are. I can help you find those too.

Soon, I'll be sharing some information about the 369 day system. Now, mind you, it won't take you 369 days to implement. My plan is to get you on your feet and back up and running to who you truly are in a much shorter period of time. Some people take longer, some people take shorter times. All up to you, it's in your hands, but we'll talk about some things that will help you really redefine who you are. One of those things is getting back time, how I go about that is actually looking at your time, see what you're doing, and track it for a period of time, so you can see patterns and rhythms. Then you figure out what works for you and what's not working for you because if it's not working for you, you need to stop doing it, and we can figure out ways on how.

Look for that post in the coming days. Contact me and share some things that you're struggling with. I'd love to hear from you and figure out how we can work together to get you to the you you want to be. T

ill next time, be well.


30 Days of Boundaries Day 28: You're Burned Out. Now What?

 Photo by  Janko Ferlič  on  Unsplash

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

So you're burned out. Now what?

Many of us, including myself, have been burned out more than once in our lives. You might be in a burn-out state right now. I know I was a few years ago and that led to my 369 days of worse-case scenarios. More on that later.

Harvard Business Review recently posted an article about how to recover from burn. Some highlights from the article that are spot on are specifically the fact that when you're burned out, you need to figure out a way how to feel because continuing down that path that got you to a burn-out state is not going to heal you. You have to figure out a way on how to get back to your new normal, whatever that may be.

Also, if that burn-out was caused by your employer or people or other things, they don't have the permission to keep you in that state. You have a choice. You can get out of that state. It's gonna take time. It's just like getting to a burn-out state did not happen overnight. Healing from it's not gonna heal you overnight either. It's gonna take some time.

One of the things that jumps out from that article is, Jason Fried, the co-founder and CEO of Base Camp, recently said in an interview, "Just because a company pays you doesn't mean that they own you." And that's the case for family members, loved ones, friends, colleagues, employers, clients. They may pay you, they may serve you, they may help you. They don't own you. So you have to figure out a way to get back.

One of the things about burn-out that jumps out, and it was well put in this article, is you need to get back to control. You have to control your life. You're the only one that can control your life. If you give that control up, then you are going to be the victim to whatever happens to you. You have to keep control. You have to take it back if it's been taken from you. How do you go about doing that? Boundaries. I talk about it all the time. Why? Because, in my 369 days, I didn't have any boundaries and it cost me everything. And now, I've rebuilt my life. I've reinvented myself, and I don't want that to happen to you.

I wanna talk to you further about establishing boundaries in your personal life, in your work life, and how to go about it. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's something that I've done, and I've implemented and others have implemented. It's made transformational change in their life and how they approach everything.

Tomorrow I'll share a little bit more about that. Take time to read the article I refer to so you get a better understanding and you can relate if you're definitely feeling burned out on this particular day. Hopefully, you can get past it and we can work together to heal you.

'Til next time, be well.


30 Days of Boundaries Day 27: Control Your Inputs

 Photo by  on  Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

Boundaries around your inputs need to be in place. Specifically, the things that you put in your body, the things that you watch, things that you listen to, the things that you read, the commentary and conversations you have, the people you hang out with. All of these things are inputs, and over time, they will shape you. They will shape your opinions, they will shape your mood, your feelings, your hopes, your aspirations.

One of the things that I've done in recent years is stopped watching the National Nightly News. This is not a slant against any of those broadcasters or any of the networks. I don't care if you are Camp CNN or Camp Fox News or Camp MSNBC. That's up to you. But for me, I don't watch them and there's a reason why. Because all of them, unfortunately, feel that they're going to generate the most revenue by putting a negative slant on what's going on in the world. It doesn't matter what political spectrum or "side of the political fence" you're faced with or that you choose to be on. That's your choice. Everyone has a right to their beliefs and their opinions and I'm not about to try to sway you one way or the other because there's valid conversations on all sides of the fence.

Not watching the news was probably one of the best things that I've ever done because the constant negativity weighs on you. This could be negative conversations at work, this could be negative conversations at home, this could be negative conversations at your favorite dining establishment, you name it. It seems to be a common conversation, next to the weather. But at the end of the day, it's important for me to control my input, so I don't watch the nightly news.

Does that mean I'm living in a cave and I don't know what's going on in the world? Absolutely not. There's plenty of mechanisms out there that can feed you information. Social media, again, is very similar to the nightly news. You have to control your inputs. You can get lost in the abyss of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest, or five of you on MySpace. Any of those things, you can use them as a tool, and I do. I use most of those platforms, and I use them to talk about what I find is important, what I feel is going to help the most people. Because that's why I do what I do. I want to help as many people as I possibly can get the life that they want.

You can get what you want in life by, first and foremost, making sure you have strong boundaries in life. If you have that, you have control of what happens to you and more importantly what happens within you. Your life is going to be a lot better. If you are living a happy life, and you're doing the things that you want to do, where you want to do them, when you want to do them, that's called freedom, my friends. That's what I want for everyone. I want everyone to feel freedom.

Life's too short. You can blink and you can be gone. I have two colleagues that have lost loved ones in the last month. My father had a heart attack. Thankfully, he's still here, but there was an opportunity or chance that he wouldn't be. Life's too short. So focus on the things that are good.

Now, how do I get my inputs? How do I get my information about what's going on in the world? I use Twitter. I kind of glance at what's trending, so you can see what's going on. There's news feeds, so if there's particular topics of interest, sports, politics, you name it, there are many feeds out there that are more positive in nature. Those are the things that I focus on. Because I share a lot of that information with people, because I feel it will help them. I don't share things just to share. I share things that I find helpful. They help me and I know that they will help you.

So it's important, again, to control your inputs. You should know what's going on in your world. You should know what's going on in your local community. There's way to get that information. There's way to get alerts, so if something significant is happening, realistic or not, then you can be aware of it. But again, don't get bogged down in the minutia of the nightly news, because it's not serving you. It's not going to help you stay happy. It's going to bring you down, because the way that they present the news tends to be very negative, and very confrontational.

You can test this theory. Watch a story on whatever news network you're on. You know it's going to be controversial or combative against one political party or another. If they're arguing against the political party that you support, you're going to feel angst, you're going to feel anger that you're being attacked. If it's the flip side and it's the network that is pro-whatever side you are on and they're attacking the other party, you're going to be, "Yeah! Let's do that! Yeah! That makes sense!" But guess what? Feel your energy level. Where are you? You're aroused, you're angered, you're like, "Yeah, we're gonna ..." And what's that doing to you?

It's just taking a toll on your heart and your soul and your being. Is it making you grow? Is a government shutdown for a couple days impacting your ability to meet your dreams and goals? No. It's just a waste of news space and a bunch of highly paid idiots on both sides of the fence that can't get their act together. That's the only political statement I'm going to make.

Long story short, control your inputs. Figure out what is the best way for you to keep in tune with what's going on in the world, without it taking a toll on your health and your life.

See you tomorrow! Be well!

30 Days of Boundaries Day 26: Create Goals for Your Life


One of the boundaries you want to set up for your life is setting goals. Goals are growth mechanisms. Everyone has dreams. We can dream about all kinds of different things. I had dreams as a child of falling out of an airplane. That's not a goal of mine. I also had a dream of my mom and grandmother leaving me at Montgomery Wards, retro, but the gentleman that actually worked at Sears would help me find them. That was a recurring dream that I had for years. Those are dreams. Those aren't goals. Goals are targets that you want to hit to make yourself better. You should have goals and you should have some accountability partners whether they're loved ones, friends, a Facebook group, coaching group or colleagues. You need to be held accountable.

It works for me because I don't want to go to them and say, "I didn't hit my goal because I didn't do anything about it." If I don't hit a target, there's going to be reasons behind it but I don't want those to become excuses. Circumstances can arise and things can happen but you want to set goals that you can reach. You also don't want them to be easy goals. For example, I have a goal of brushing my teeth today. I'm going to do that. I like my teeth and I want to be able to keep them. But the challenge is to have goals that really help you grow and grow to the person you want to be. You need to figure that out. And if you haven't figured it out by now, what you want to do when you grow up. One, I don't want to grow up. I'm perpetually 12. It's fun. Come on. Let's be realistic here. When you're in the leadership role, you have to grow up from time to time. I know. Spoiler alert. Sorry about that.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you are growing as a person and that you are learning new things because the world is changing. The world is changing constantly. I was actually at a conference recently and we talked about a quarter, 25% of the jobs that exist today may not exist in 2030. That means in 12 years a quarter of the jobs, one out of four jobs that exist won't in 2030 just because those jobs are no longer around. You have to constantly grow and improve. That's something you should be focusing on annually. You should review those things on a quarterly basis. Monthly might be a little much unless you're just starting something. You want to make sure you're seeing some momentum. That's fine. But you want to look at your goals on a quarterly basis and do annual planning.

Now, don't do annual planning on December 31st. Don't do annual planning on January 1st, especially if you went out the night of December 31st. That's not a plan. That's a plan for a disaster. Plan what next year is going to look like in October. Now that means if you come up with something that you think you'd really want to do next year and it's June or July, write it down. Put a notepad somewhere or use Evernote or whatever note capturing device you use. When you review your goals for the next year in October, then that can be at the top of the list and you can see if that's actually still something you want to do.

Is there anything you'd like to see change in your life this year or next?

See you tomorrow.

30 Days of Boundaries Day 25: Stress Management

 Photo by  Nik Shuliahin  on  Unsplash

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

If you follow me here or on Twitter you'll realize that I talk a lot about stress, boundaries and burnout. Because they happened to me and created my "Year of Worst Case Scenarios" and I've rebounded from all of those losses and now live a life that I want to live. I'm doing the things that I want to do, spending time where I want to spend time, and working on the things that I want to work on, that I find important. You too can also get that way but you need to know where you're at, you need to find out where you stand on things and there's a lot of self-discovery and sometimes that can be quite traumatic for people.

For stress management, it's crucial for you to figure out what's causing you stress. You may not know, you just may feel burned out and stressed and you have no idea what it's cause is. What are your stresses? If you don't know, send me a message and we can work together to figure out what's causing you grief and we can narrow down what we can do.

I want to focus on the topic of mindfulness. Before we get all zen-like and I'm not going to tell you to go to yoga class or follow up a new religion that is different than the religion you follow, that's not where I'm going. It's a way to be more aware of your surroundings, both externally and internally. There are tons of apps that can help you do this. I'm a big fan of Calm. I'm have no affiliation, it's for free. Of course there's in app purchases through the app that can help you with specific needs.

One of the things I saw in an article is to name your stress. Now this is crazy, maybe that's not the right word to use here, but I've named my stress Bob. If your name is Bob, I don't have a problem with you, I know many Bobs and Bobbys and Roberts and Robs, nothing against any of those guys, I can't think of any Bob, quite frankly, that would really be the cause of my stress, but it's just a name that came up. Why? The movie Office Space. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. The Bobs. I'll leave it at that.

On my wall, in my office, I have a portrait of Peter Gibbons from that movie, Office Space. He was able to channel his inner zen and it changed everything for him. There's a lot of lessons in that movie and tons of laughs if you've ever worked in an office. I highly recommend it, it's one of my favorite movies of all time.

Getting back to stress management, you want to manage your stress. There's articles upon articles of what stress can do to your health. It can kill you, it nearly killed me. Thankfully I am here. It's important for you to figure out what you need to do to manage your stress and the key thing is to identify that you are stressed and come up with some ways to relieve the tension.

The takeaways from this: figure out your stress, give it a name, it doesn't have to be a person's name, it could be Pottery Plant or Candle or Twig, I don't care, whatever you want to name it, whatever connects to you, feel what you need to feel. Once you figure that out, then we can start working a little bit deeper into how to better manage it. Identify it. Can you eliminate stress? You can reduce stress and there's certain stressors in your life that, yes, you can eliminate based by changing the conditions that create it. Not saying you're going to live a stress free life, not possible, but the idea is how to deal with it and how to address it and how to work within it to get through it.

Think about what types of stress you're feeling. If you need help go to fill out the contact information on the front page and I'll be more than happy to walk you through.


30 Days of Boundaries Day 24: Tracking Your Interruptions

 Photo by  Jamie Street  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

No matter what kind of job you do or the things that happen at home you are interrupted from time to time. This interruption could be a phone call, it can be a text message, it can be an instant message, it could be a variety of different things. What's important is we have so many interruptions in our lives that we forget what we're working on. If you're working on a project and you're trying to do some things accomplished and you're constantly getting interrupted, what's that going to do to your flow? It's gonna slow it down. You're gonna have to take a few moments to get back in rhythm in working on whatever you're working on, which adds time to how long it takes you to get something done.

Many people use a variety of different methods to keep focused on things, whether it's closing their door if they have a door to close, or do not disturb sign or a variety of different methods. I want talk about the simple act of tracking the interruptions you have because you have no idea how many times you're interrupted in a day. The easy step here is on a post-it note or a sheet of paper or this free resource, track your interruptions over a week. That means every time you get an email that comes in chiming or if you have email open that pops up that's an interruption. A phone call, a text, someone stops by your desk, just keep track of it. You're going to be amazed how many interruptions happen in your life.

 What you'll do with this information is come up with some ways to minimize those distractions because that's what they are. There's a lot of ways to go about it. If it's emails on your phone, then turn off that notification. I believe I've mentioned before that the only notifications I have on my phone are text messages. That's it. There's a couple projects I'm working on as well so if there's an update on those projects then I get a notification on those immediately because those are important things that I'm working on right now. But everything else, there's no notification. If I get an Instagram message or something like that, I won't see it unless I got into Instagram. Some people might think that's severe but if you wanna get focused and you wanna get things done, you need to establish these boundaries around these interruptions.

If you have an abnormal week when tracking then maybe stretch it out over to a month but I wouldn't do it more than that. Realizing how many times a day you're interrupted will allow you to take steps to fix that.

Until next time, be well.


30 Days of Boundaries Day 23: Purge Your To Do Items

 Photo by  MiRo Am  on  Unsplash

Photo by MiRo Am on Unsplash

Welcome back. Grab yourself a good cup of coffee or tea and let's grab your to-do list. You might be at work or you might be at home, but, right now, we're going to focus on a work to-do list, but this is applicable to home life, as well.

Go through the exercise and make sure that your to-do list is up-to-date. Make sure that you have everything that is on your plate right now listed on this particular sheet, or you can use an electronic to-do system, whatever works. Make sure everything is on there. Do not get overwhelmed on that list because my hunch, knowing people like I do, is it's a rather robust list of things. Once you go through this and you look at everything, I want you to look at things that are basically things you could lose your job if you don't get done. Highlight those. Grab a highlighter or, if you don't have a highlighter, put a star by them. Hopefully that entire list is not stars because if it is, then we've got a challenge ahead of us, but ideally you want to figure out. These are the really crucial things that need to get done.

Now that you have that done, the next step is figure out from those starred lists, what are two things, not three, not ten, two, that you could possibly get done either today or this week. Once you have that, then write those two things on another sheet, and at the top of that sheet, call it Most Important Tasks. Write those two things down. Nothing else goes on that sheet. You have that sheet with the most important tasks. The other to-do sheet that you filled everything out on, file that away. Grab that sheet that has the two tasks. That's what you are going to work on and that's what you're going to work on until those things are done.

Remember, I told you that on that sheet there are things that you are confident that you would be able to complete either today or this week, so don't work on anything else, if at all possible, except those two items. Once they're done, cross them off and take that sheet and file it. Don't throw it away, but file it. It might be a good idea to write a date at the top, as well.

Now that you've completed those two tasks, take 15 minutes, doesn't need to be very long, 15 minutes, and not do anything. If you're working in a factory and there's parts flying by you, I don't recommend this exercise because you'll definitely get the foreman on you really quick, but if you're in an office type of setting, take 15 minutes and just be. Don't do anything. If you're just sitting there staring off in space and you have a micromanager that asks you, "What are you doing? How come you're not working," then act as if you're doing something. Tidy up the files on your desk or maybe wipe down your desk if you have cleaning wipes or something like that. Get up and stretch. Do something. Go use the facilities. Grab a cup of water. Just don't work for 15 minutes.

The reason why I'm saying this is you need to celebrate that you have accomplished something. We go from task to task to task to task to task to task to task to task to task to task and we don't stop and pause or reflect on what we just did. We forget that we've accomplished something. We've finished something and we just go into autopilot and just round and round and round and round. No wonder we're burning out. We're not stopping. Think of it this way. Think of it like the Indy 500 or a NASCAR race. They run around in circles for 500 miles. They finish the race. They're supposed to stop, regroup, talk about how they did in the race. That's the same thing with this most important task list. Stop and reflect on what you've accomplished. Otherwise, what you're doing would be the equivalent of the Indy 500 is they went round and round and round and round in circles, they hit the 500 mark, the checkered flag flies, we know who won, but then everybody's still running and running and running. They don't stop till they run out of gas or the equivalent is they completely burn out or wreck or anything like that.

Same thing, so you need to stop and pause and say, "Okay. I've done those things. Learn from them." Maybe you did something unique that was an ability for you to create or finish something faster than you have before. Figure that out. You will get into a rhythm of work.

Naturally, if you get two things done pretty quickly, you're like, "Boom. I can get 10 things done today." Don't fall under that trap. If you do finish something and it's early in the day, then look at your list and pick maybe one more thing for the day. Don't try to do more than three a day, but if, for some reason, you can get five or six done and get that list cleared out, I'm okay with it, but make sure you balance in some breaks in between those accomplishments so that way, you will actually feel accomplishment and feel it. See how it feels and then you'll get into the rhythm.

The next thing you need to do after you do Most Important Tasks is look at the original list and see if there's anything on that list that you really shouldn't be doing and somebody else should? Highlight those, as well, different color highlighter or a different symbol, maybe a box or a circle, whatever mechanism you do to track and when you do this you can then talk to your supervisor and say, "I think this person would be better to work on this and here's the reasons why." Also show your boss, "Look at all the things that I've accomplished, but these things here I think Jill would be able to do them better and she probably has capacity to be able to do that." That could be a slippery slope, because you're boss may say, "Well, you're getting everything else done. Why don't you wanna do that?" I have one phrase for you for that. "Resume.doc." If you have a micromanaging boss like that, that's not the best environment in the world for you to be in. There's other opportunities out there. Go find them.

Until next time, be well.