26 January 2010

Are You Heading For Burn Out Part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote a post, Are You Heading For Burn Out.

It was about taking breaks to recharge your batteries and nourish your mind and body, and it was prompted by a snowboarding trip that I took, but almost didn't take, because I was worried about the work I was leaving behind.

I've just come back from another snowboarding trip and was reminded of the post.  I re-read it and was amazed at how different my state of mind was leading up to this trip.  

The trip itself was every bit as fantastic as the previous one but I had none of the anxiety about taking a few days out from my regular routine.  And that's because my regular routine is much better than it used to be.  

The last trip made me think about how I run my schedule, what I can delegate and how I prioritise.  I acted on these thoughts when I returned and now I can go away for trips like this without worry.  

It was really great to have the opportunity to review how things have changed for the better because, in a busy routine, it's all too easy to get caught up in what you're doing and not realise that life is continually getting better.  

So, here's the next installment of snowboard wisdom:

1) As I said in the previous post, never skip vacation time

2) When you've made time for your mind to be creative, act quickly on the new thoughts you generate

3) Highlight regular events in your life and use them to review your progress.  Vacations are ideal for this but you can do it weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, or preferably all of the above.  However you do it, keep track of how life is shaping up and take action to ensure you're moving forwards as quickly as you want to be with everything that matters to you.

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19 January 2010

Feeling Blue? Not any more...

Yesterday was the day known as 'Blue Monday' - the most depressing day of the year. The day when the combination of bad weather, holiday credit card bills and the long time left until pay day gets the better of us and we decide to hibernate and avoid getting out of bed.

I don't believe in things like Blue Monday and I know plenty of people who know what they need to do to manage their mental and physical state appropriately and ride out any periods that are generally recognised as being challenging.

I asked some of the people that I've been working with recently what changes they've made to their approach to healthy living in the last couple of months, and what difference these changes have made to their professional and personal lives. In other words, what changes have they made that will help them feel great and perform well all year round in spite of seasonal hot spots like Blue Monday.

The top 5 changes reported were:
  • Take more exercise
  • Drink more water
  • Make a plan for sleep, rest and recovery
  • Eat more healthily throughout the day
  • Make time for me and my family
The top 5 benefits of making these changes were:
  • Increased energy
  • A sense of calm
  • Feeling fitter
  • Feeling less irritable
  • A reassuring sense of balance
Nothing earth shattering there you'll notice, it's all pretty much common sense.

But what really matters is these people are living with the benefits of making these changes, not just thinking about making these changes.

So don't waste any more time lamenting the fact that sometimes circumstances conspire to make you feel rotten.  Take charge of what you need to do to make every day fantastic.

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14 January 2010

Perfect Body, Perfect Fitting Clothes

If you find there are certain times of the year when your waistline expands or contracts then you may also find it inconvenient to keep updating your wardrobe.  Not to mention expensive.

Well apparently there may be a solution in the form of the Perfect Fit Button.

The promo video on the website is hilarious and although this could be a practical solution, don't we have style to consider as well?

Surely it's better to get yourself into the shape you want to be, kit yourself out with a killer wardrobe that makes you look fantastic and then do what you need to stay the right size for those clothes?

Follow Instant Feelgood advice and you can achieve the body that fits the clothes you love quickly and easily and you'll never need to adjust the clothes to fit your body.

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13 January 2010

Don't Eat Cereals that Change the Colour of Milk

Sensible advice indeed.

Read the full article along with many other common sense suggestions here.  I particularly like the bits about white bread and how to shop at the supermarket.

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12 January 2010

99 out of 100 packed lunches eaten at school are unhealthy

It appears that the vast majority of children aren't being given a healthy lunch to take to school with them.  Read one report on a recent study here.

Shame on the parents.  Kids need to get used to eating and enjoying foods other than crisps and snacks because the habits they learn in their early years will stick with them.  I know adults who still base their daily lunch around the sandwich, crisps, chocolate bar and fizzy drink template.  And they don't look or feel good on it.

If you're responsible for packing your child's lunch, make sure you know what constitutes healthy options - here are some ideas in my post about the best lunches when trying to lose weight.

When you know what works for adults, simply modify it slightly for the kids.  Healthy food can be enjoyable and fun.  All you need is a bit of effort and imagination and the kids will feel a lot better for the rest of the day.

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6 January 2010

The Revolutionary Diet that can help you stay slim forever

Here it is, the revolutionary diet plan that you've all been waiting for.

Or is it?

As usual with all great new diet plans there will be elements of this programme that help some people to make a breakthrough they've been struggling to make with managing their weight.  

But I'm inclined to suggest that many more breakthroughs will be achieved by those who decide that now is the time to get serious and do whatever it takes to get a result that lasts.

No hesitation, no excuses.

Which takes us back to the single most important change you can make in 2010.  

If you want to stay slim forever, get your head in the right place, choose the right mindset and the results you want will follow.  And follow quickly...

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5 January 2010

Don't Let Stress At Work Get the Better of You

Teacher stress is still in the news as the fallout continues after a first grader had one of her braids cut off by her teacher.  Read the story here.

Teaching isn't the only profession where stress is building and people are snapping.  It's easy to let work become all consuming and the only way to ensure you don't fall victim to your career getting you down is to have balance in your life.

Make a quick list now of everything you do each week that relaxes you and reduces stress in your life.  If there's nothing on your list, you need to find something quickly.  Ideally you should have between 5 and 10 'stress reducers' that you can put into practice every week.

Over the next few days I'll be making some suggestions on ideas that you might find helpful...

Read more on stress at Instant Feelgood:

Top Stress Busing Tip

Don't Panic

How to Feel Calm in 12 minutes

Three Top Tips to Reduce Stress

Live Longer, Manage Stress

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4 January 2010

The Single Most Important Change You Can Make in 2010

A single change and a simple change.  Your attitude.

I've been catching up with friends over the holidays and two people that I haven't seen for a while were looking particularly great.  

I asked them how they did it and in both cases the decision to get serious about a particular aspect of life was the trigger to never before achieved results with their fitness, weight management and general positive outlook on life.

One had decided it was time to find a new love interest and the other was in search of their dream job.  As it turned out, they both hit the jackpot but for each of them there were a few months where they had no guarantee of success.  So what kept them on track?

It was the belief that if they kept a positive attitude and focused on the things they believed would bring success in their chosen area of focus, they would at some stage triumph.

They said they didn't do much differently to begin with apart from practice more positive thinking around their chosen objectives.  Then, gradually, as the desire for success grew, they saw opportunities for different choices in relation to what they ate, how they managed their energy, the exercise they took, the friends they kept, and how they responded to events along the way.

Both reported they didn't always consider how they needed to behave each day to make their goal a reality, just staying focused on the goal guided their behaviour.

So, from today onwards, make your daily choices easy by focusing on your attitude.  Decide what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it, and everything you need to do to bring these goals to fruition will quickly become clear.  Then all you need to do is act consistently until the result is yours.

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3 January 2010

Water: How much do you need to drink?

On the radio last week I heard a discussion about how much water we need (or don't need) to drink each day.  They referred to a study by scientists at University of Pennsylvania which was conducted in 2008.  The study concluded that 'there is no clear evidence of benefit from drinking increased amounts of water'.  

If you do some research on the subject you'll find other studies that come to the same conclusions.    So should we all be aiming for our 8 glasses of water a day?  Or should we just forget about drinking water?  This is something that people ask me about all the time.

Here's what I think.

The human body is around 60% water and most processes and reactions depend on water to be efficient.  Many of our daily activities and our patterns of irregular eating and drinking actually deprive the system of water so it can't do any harm to make sure you're putting enough water in to compensate for this.

The bottom line and easy answer is that everyone should decide for themselves.  

You need to experiment with drinking water and then try not drinking extra water for a few days and see how you feel.  

In my experience, getting hydrated definitely helps with energy levels and concentration, and once you get into the habit of regularly topping up with plain water, you'll feel great.  

You'll also notice, if you begin to feel a bit sluggish, that reaching for some water will put you back on track.

So over the next week or so, play around with how much water you drink each day and judge how much makes you feel at your best.  Start today and tomorrow by getting your eight glasses and then try just one or two glasses for the two days after that.  

When you know how much gives you the best energy, make sure you get that amount every day no matter where you are or what your schedule is like.

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1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

I heard on the radio last week that the average American puts on 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year.  10 pounds!  That's a lot of weight.  

Then today I read that it's 2 pounds during the same period.  So it appears that the 'average' amount of weight gained is different depending on what you read.  One thing's for sure though, none of the reports say that anyone loses weight through December.

Whatever situation you find yourself in at the beginning of 2010, I've got a few suggestions on how to shape up and get fit from now on.    And these are really simple suggestions.  They work, and they work for everyone.  

So read on and start acting today.

Ditch the New Year Resolutions
One report says that 88% of adults make New year resolutions, the most popular one being to eat healthier.  Only 20% will keep their resolution.  

For 2010, forget New Year resolutions and changing everything today and focus instead on thinking about what will be different by the end of this month.  This will take the pressure off and give you 31 days to see and feel a difference.  

Write down what you want to be different by January 31st - healthy eating, fitness, living with less stress - and then take action every single day to make sure you get a result by the end of the month.

You'll be amazed at what you can achieve in 31 days.

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