Fix Your Brain – Fix Your Habits – Fix Your Life

Fix Your Brain – Fix Your Habits – Fix Your Life

How happy are you with your life? Did you know that anything that isn’t making you jump for joy can be fixed or changed? The key, however, is that only YOU hold that power to make your life joyous. It’s not up to your spouse, kids, parents, or boss. You are the only one in complete control of your life, so you deserve to live the life of your dreams.

It has been one year since global lockdowns began. You would think that would seem like a tremendously long time for all we have been through. And for some of you, it may have been. For me, it seems as though I was stuck in “Groundhog Day”, the movie where we live the same day over and over. After a while, you don’t even know what day it is. It stagnates the mind.

Mindset and mindfulness are buzz words we hear a lot about. They refer to those learned attitudes we hold about absolutely anything. We have a money mindset, a career mindset; in a business setting, you’ll hear terms like ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset. Starting with a mindset that works for you is certainly important to how we perceive life and being mindful of how we think affects what we get from life.

To make real and lasting changes in our lives, embrace the development of tiny habits.  Tiny habits combine over a period of time become automatic habits that we don’t have to think about. These automatic habits compound into many small successes, which can also help change our mindset. It’s a huge cycle but one which can be changed at any point.

How to Add Tiny Habits to Your Day

Since every person’s goals will be different, so will every person’s tiny habit choices. These are just a few ideas and certainly not a comprehensive list. Choose whichever tiny habits make you happy and more fulfilled (and moving toward your goals) and continue building on those.

To begin, decide what exactly makes you unhappy then think of a resolution. Now, what is one small thing you can do to start to change the situation? It’s not enough to just THINK about a resolution; you must then take action. Creating tiny habits one at a time will change your life.

Some general tiny habits that anyone can add to their routines include: meditation, yoga, cardio exercise, writing a gratitude journal, journal about all areas of your life or your goals, listening to empowering podcasts, praying, and healthy eating.

If you’re specifically unhappy at work:

  • Spend 5 minutes a day looking for a new job; apply for a new position inside your current company; rewrite your resume; seek a mentor for advice; get active with business networking groups; upgrade your skillset; write down a daily work goal and cross it off the list when achieved.

If you’re unhappy with your relationships:

  • Start venturing out with groups of friends; reconnect daily with spouse or partner; go on regular date nights where you don’t talk about work or kids; try a new hobby or activity together; reconnect with old friends or family members.

If you’re unhappy spiritually:

  • Start keeping a Bible planner, such as My Bible Planner (click to see); create a meditative morning and evening routine; spend time every day doing self-care routines; seek advice from religious or spiritual leaders; listen to spiritual podcasts or music; volunteer to help the less fortunate.

As you can see, there’s no magic wand that can change your level of happiness. It’s up to you to take the action and to implement these tiny steps toward your ultimate goals. Need a system to work through this process of creating tiny habits to change your life? Here’s an excellent book that helps you define the exact process that works for you – Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg. You can do this! Time to get your life on track and come out of the fog (no pun intended, B.J.) of pandemic shutdown.

New Habits Take Willpower

New Habits Take Willpower

All you need to create a new habit is willpower.

No – willpower won’t get you there! In fact, I’ve found that willpower always fails me in the end. It’s hard to keep up willpower for any length of time. Yes, we can stick to a low-fat 1,000 calorie diet and go hungry for a week or two, but eventually, our willpower fades. And yes, we can do exercise we hate for a while… until we run out of willpower.

But what about getting up to take the kids to school every morning, brushing our teeth, or going to work every day. Those may not be our favorite things to do either, but we do them daily without the risk of running out of willpower. That’s because they have become habits. They are so ingrained in what we do and who we are that we do them without even considering skipping a day or a week. We don’t have to make a conscious decision each day to shower or drive to work. It’s just what we do – a habit.

When you start to think about it, there is an inverse relationship between habits and willpower. When you first want to build a new habit, it takes a lot of willpower to get it done day in and day out. As you start to establish that habit, it becomes easier and easier to do until you don’t even have to think about it anymore. Just being aware of this process helps us stick it out.

While we’re in that transition from willpower to habit, we can use tools to make it easier. Use a to-do list or set a reminder to help stay on track. Find an accountability partner so the two of you can motivate each other and help bolster that willpower when it starts to fade after the first enthusiasm wears off. Even something as simple as laying out your running clothes the night before and keeping your sneakers by the door will make it a little easier to go out for that run.

And that’s the simple version of creating a new lifelong habit. There is much more to creating new habits that stick. And there are tools and hacks to help get you there. Stay tuned…


Mindfulness – It’s Not All in Your Mind

Mindfulness – It’s Not All in Your Mind

As much as many of us choose to overlook it, there is a lot wrong with the way most of us currently live our lives.

We sit in chairs all day long gaining weight, we eat processed foods and we face constant stresses from work, from our relationships, and from our finances.

What’s more, we are constantly in demand and constantly ‘plugged in’ and ‘stressed out’. Our phones are always ringing, texts are always coming in, we get a new e-mail every two minutes… And even when most of us aren’t working or being bothered, we have a near addiction to technology that means we’re still unable to really decompress.

And while our attention spans are not really shorter than a goldfish, it is not surprising that our attention has become more demanding. We are always demanding to be entertained as we flip from one video to another or one app to another.

And all this amid a raging pandemic.

Is it any wonder that mental health problems are skyrocketing?

Using mindfulness to escape modern stress is probably a big part of the reason that mindfulness is so popular right now. Mindfulness simply means directing attention in a purposeful manner. Sometimes this will mean focusing on our thoughts (in an objective and non-judgmental way) but in other cases, it will mean simply being more present and focusing on our breathing and our environments.

Either way, the idea of mindfulness is to enjoy calmness and stop the incessant chatter of our minds. Instead of being completely engaged with the world around you, we need to learn to disengage with your thoughts, providing you with relief from stress and from fear and allow you to simply relax and recover.

The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness. How many times have you realized you devoured the entire bag of potato chips while binge-watching your favorite Netflix series? Or how many times have you suddenly asked yourself “where did my day go”? Often before bedtime, we can’t even remember what we did with our time during the day.

I realize the damaging toll the pandemic has made on our lives. Everyone has suffered in some way. How are we coping? For many, we have tried to escape the reality of it all through overeating, binging on Netflix, or staying glued to our phone or iPad screen.

There is a better way.

It starts with being aware that we are not being aware.

Boiled down to its essence, mindfulness is the observation of one’s own thoughts and emotions. In other words, it means stepping back and then simply being aware of what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and what you are experiencing. This can then, in turn, be used to help treat a wide range of different psychological problems and to generally improve your psychological health.

The reason for this is that it brings more attention to the way that we handle various different events and to how our thoughts and emotions normally control us. This then in turn allows us to anticipate them, to deal with them, and ultimately to prevent them.

Mindfulness is a broad tool to be used in a number of different ways. In almost every scenario though, the true end goal is to be aware of the present moment and to find an inner calm that often eludes us.

Ready to work on your mindfulness? Start with Designing Your New Normal Mindset to guide you in defining your best state of mindfulness. Available now. Available HERE.

The 2021 Best Time to Buy Anything Calendar

The 2021 Best Time to Buy Anything Calendar

Sometime around the first of each year, I get stingy. Maybe it’s the fact that I overspent on Christmas gifts for my family, which seems to be a personal weakness of mine. Or maybe it’s that I subconsciously make a New Year’s resolution to be more thoughtful in my purchases. That means I plan to not get excited about every new trend that I’m sure will make my life easier and more enjoyable and therefore give in to my uncontrollable urge to buy it!

So, in my quest to be more frugal with money and at least make my purchases a “bargain”, I researched the best times of the year to buy just about anything. You know a bargain is not a bargain if you don’t need it. My husband always gets worried when I tell him how much money I saved on something! Of course, not purchasing something saves you even more!

If you actually plan purchases you need, there is little reason to purchase anything unless it’s on sale. Sales are an everyday occurrence. However, you can save a lot of money just by knowing when the lowest sale price for an item is most likely to happen. This is especially true for big-ticket items. 

I researched Consumer Reports for the best months to buy things. Consumer Reports is probably the most credible and least biased organization that reviews and rates products. I always check out their recommendations for buying big ticket items and many other things.

From this research, I compiled an annual calendar for The Best Time to Buy Anything. Holidays and annual sales drive many of the best times to purchase some items. For instance, the Consumer Electronics Show in January unveils many new models of electronics, which makes early January a good time to buy TVs, especially if you’re willing to consider older models. January is also known for white sales on bedding and linens.

The best use of the buying calendar is that it allows you to plan purchases, especially for expensive items.

You can get good deals on products at almost any time of the year, so you’ll see some of the same products listed in several months of the year. And clearance sales of some larger items occur several times a year, because retail stores need the space for newer inventory.

You can download your free copy of the 2021 Best Time to Buy Anything annual calendar here:

 I hope you find it useful! Do you have anything to add? Comment below!

Three Simple Steps to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever

Three Simple Steps to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever

It’s something we’ve all been waiting for – the end of 2020. A new beginning – 2021! But is it? Exactly what do you expect to be different on January 1, 2021?

In 2020 the world changed, and we had no choice but to change. It was thrust upon us and there were lifestyle changes that we had to make to adapt to the new world around us. But did we thrive throughout this process? Or did we just survive?

What are your expectations for 2021? Something better? We need something to look forward to. We need to believe that our lives will be more within our control. 2020 was a year that continually spiraled out of control. And it made us feel out of control.

So, let’s consider our personal expectations for gaining – or regaining some semblance of control in our lives.

Do you make resolutions at the beginning of every new year? Why?

I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution at which I’ve actually succeeded. So, when you think about it, I have set myself up for failure every time I’ve resolved to make life changes. Every resolution I’ve declared had to do with something I wanted to change about myself. But change is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Let me say that again. Personal change is evolutionary, not revolutionary!

What does that mean in terms of our behavior? It all begins with our mindset. If we don’t change that, we have no chance of changing our actions. That doesn’t mean we have to do a 180, a complete turnaround of the way we’ve been thinking. But it does mean we need to be intentional with how we approach life and how we deal with circumstances and situations that make up our daily living.

First of all, let’s consider January 1, 2021, as just another day, like any other day. Change your mindset to see every day as a new beginning. Every day is a chance to make life better for ourselves and those around us.

Next, if we think there are changes we need to make in our lives, start with just one thing. Make it a little thing. And do it every day. Make it become second nature to you – make it a habit. That is setting yourself up for success, not failure. 

And finally, I propose that we start this new year being kinder to ourselves. Yes, be kind to yourself first. Because when you do, you are kinder to others. When you take care of yourself, you are in a position to take care of others. That is not being selfish. It is being considerate of others by treating yourself with kindness and respect, which in turn extends to others. It’s somewhat a twist of the Golden Rule of doing to others as you would have them do to you. Do good to yourself and then do good to others.

Need some ideas on how to implement this process?

If you need to start with simple changes to your mindset, I suggest my ecourse, Designing Your New Normal Mindset. It consists of easy activities to identify your current mindset and guide you to make mindset changes that work for you. Check it out here while still at introductory pricing!

If you need to keep up with progress on the one thing you are going to change about yourself, click and download my free gift to you, My One Thing Daily Habit Tracker. Keeping track of your progress helps ensure your success in developing habits that naturally become part of your daily life. (Your free tracker is interactive, so you can complete and save it online or print it out and complete it!)

If you think self-care is selfish, download my free report – Self-Care Hacks. And start treating yourself with the respect you deserve. That makes it second nature to extend the same kind of respect to others.

All my best to make 2021 a truly successful, joyful, and peaceful year for you!