Controlling Your Life by Controlling Your Calendar

This is an issue that I find most of my clients, friends, and family struggle with. Most people have no concept of time management in that, they use technology to try to regulate their schedules but they get sucked back into the social media abyss in the process.

It’s easy to keep a calendar on your phone, but it’s even easier to check Instagram and Facebook six times in the time it took you to look up your next appointment for the day. One of the solutions I have found is to hide your social media pages from yourself. Put them all in a folder within a folder on the last page on your phone. This forces you to consciously make an effort to go find those social media outlets instead of automatically scrolling through them when you’re bored, waiting on a return phone call, on a lunch break, etc.

I usually hear the same excuse from single people, parents, and college students, “I don’t have time to read or listen to a bunch of podcasts”. You were clearly willing to do this stuff to further your education to receive your degree. Not only that, but you also donated 4 years of your life (if not more) to an institution as well as over $40,000 for what? A piece of paper and a ton of debt with just the slight chance of having a job after college. So you’re telling me, you can do all of that but you can’t give yourself 30 minutes a day to work on your own personal goals? That’s not a lack of time, that’s a lack of priorities.

“You will never manifest your dreams by complaining your way out of your current reality”

—-Read that again—-

In most cases, I find that people excuse their lack of wanting to do the hard things to reach their goals by exaggerating the time spent doing mandatory activities, and waste time on other activities. Most people will not admit to you that they spent over 6 hours on multiple social media platforms in one day (and their careers are not even in digital media), but their phones don’t lie. If you ever get curious as to where you’re losing hours of your life, or rather, giving it away, check your screen time option on your phone.

The results may shock you.

You can keep a calendar on your phone for electronic reminders. But for the love of yourself, your sanity, and your goals, carry a physical calendar as well. It’s something about forcing yourself to look at a physical printout of your day, physically crossing off appointments, and writing things down that allows the mind to remember them. Many times, we either forget to check our electronic calendars completely because we get distracted by all of the hundreds of other apps and pictures on our phones and computers.

If you’re looking for some quick fixes, and some good, healthy, long-lasting habits, check out the above video. I didn’t list everything, because we would still be here a month later watching the same damn video and NOBODY wants that. These are just a few short simple things to help you get started.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or desire any clarification on anything presented in the video, feel free to contact me on the contact page!

Tools for Entrepreneurship

I have received numerous questions about what things would help new, budding entrepreneurs get off to a great start. These are some tips, tricks, habits, and principles that have helped me achieve my goals. I can’t promise they will all work for you, but hopefully a few of them will. Take notes, try a few, and research more to try.

I wish I would have had a beginner’s How To Entrepreneur Handbook when I was much younger. I would likely have never chosen to work a day in my life for someone else, or in a career that sucked my soul through my teeth. I cannot blame anyone else but myself for the time I wasted doing other things I thought I was supposed to do because that’s what society always told me to do. My actions are mine alone.

Just know that if you decide to go into entrepreneurship there are only two speeds. Not at all, or all in. There is no halfway. You will have to learn that your failures are yours alone but that’s a gift because they are also your experiences to learn and grow from. That being said, don’t ever take advice from someone else about what to do with your life. They don’t have to deal with the consequences from action or inaction in your life. You do.

Most of the things I talk about are common sense things that most of us neglect to do because we are not focused on them. That’s where building habits come into play. Most of us have good and bad habits. You seem them demonstrated everywhere. Your sibling may drink a ton of water and run everyday but she smokes a pack of cigarettes a day as well. The way to eliminate bad habits or habits that aren’t giving much back to us is not to focus on them and try to stop cold turkey. By focusing on them, we are going to inevitably do that habit more because we are focusing on it. The Law of Attraction is that what you focus on, you receive more of. If you focus on shit, you receive shit. If you focus on your bad habit, you’ll succumb to it more often.

Instead, I advise clients to start SLOWLY adding one or two positive, good habits, that are going to help you. This could be sleeping the hours that your body needs to function on a daily basis, drinking enough water, eating fruits and vegetables, exercising daily, etc. It could also be reading for thirty minutes in a self-development or business book a day, listening to one podcast centered around growth a day, or going to a conference that can benefit your life quarterly. You pick your habit because at the end of the day, you have to live with the results your habits bring.

What are your current goals that you are working to achieve? Your habits should be something that help you build on accomplishing those goals. If your goal is to lose ten pounds in three months then you should start incorporating habits like logging your food into a food tracker, eating healthier, exercising regularly, seeking out a personal trainer and/or nutritionist, etc.

One way I have found that has been the easiest way to build good habits and track my dedication and consistency with those habits is a habit tracker. The only way to build an effective habit is to take an action so many times that it literally forms as a habit and you no longer have to focus or tell yourself to do it each day.

I build my own habit tracker in my moleskin journal I carry with me wherever I go. I use a graph and each habit is colored a different color. I color in a square everyday that I perform that habit. When I check the consistency of my habit over time, I can tell just by seeing long streaks of color if I am solidifying this action as a habit. If it becomes a habit (i.e. three or more months of unbroken string of color across the page) then I can remove it from the list because I no longer have to actively focus on making it a part of my day. I can add more habits I wish to develop in its place or focus harder on the ones I already have. It’s totally customizable and that’s one of my favorite things.

Now, as I suspect, many of you just shuddered at the mere thought of toting around a physical book to write stuff down in. This is the modern age isn’t it?? Why the heck would I need to carry around a freaking journal?! And to that I say, to each their own. I prefer hand-written material because it’s less likely for me to delete the reminder, hit the snooze button, or delete it completely from my life. I have to stare at that hand written reminder everyday I look at the page and if I don’t do it, it’s as if I have broken a promise to myself.

For those of you who are loving modern technology and have no interest in the old handwritten methods, I can tell you that a quick query of the keywords “habit tracker” in any app store on any phone will provide you with a whole host of apps available that can provide you with some form of habit tracker. As to the effectiveness, costs, or operation of the apps I cannot advise. I have never tried any of them myself so I cannot recommend any particular app.

If you’re looking for more information on developing daily successful habits and a growth mindset, here are a few books you may find useful:

  • The Compound Effect – By Darren Hardy
  • The Magic of Thinking Big – By David J. Schwartz
  • The Slight Edge – By Jeff Olsen
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – By Stephen Covey
  • The 8th Habit – By Stephen Covey
  • High Performance Habits – By Brendon Burchard

I have many many more favorites in mind, but these are just a few to get you started. Feel free to contact me for more suggestions, or set up a free consult for a coaching session if habit development is something you are truly passionate about learning more about and mastering!

Is Your Level of Physical Fitness Affecting Your Professional Success?

This has been one of my favorite topics for quite some time. There are numerous reasons to stay physically fit including but not limited to: improvement of your physical health, improvement of your mental health, and even finding happiness and fulfillment in your life. By just finding 30 minutes a day to exercise, you can make a wide variety of positive changes in your professional life as well.

Lower Stress Levels

Many times, a higher level of professional success can lead to more stress. There are more pressures to adhere to more deadlines, meet more clients, more rules to follow, not to mention more employees to supervise. These professional stressors can leak into your personal life like a virus. This can cause friction in your home life, your marriage, your relationships with other family members and friends. Exercise is a proven way to tame some of these stressors and prevent them from ruling your life.

Improved Mood

Daily exercise releases endorphins – your natural happy feel-good neurochemical. The release of these endorphins produce feeelings of euphoria most commonly compared to those seen when the body is receiving morphine. The release of specific chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin can lead to stress relief and an overall improvement in mood. Regular exercise can also dismiss anxiety and feelings of depression.

Improved Sleep

Regular exercise can not only improve your sleep quality by increasing the time spent in deep sleep which is th most physically restorative sleep phase. If you aren’t exercising frequently and you find yourself chronically waking up feeling exhausted, it may be that you’re not getting enough time in deep sleep. Exercise helps with the amount of sleep you’re getting as well. By spending more time in deep sleep, you’re also spending more time asleep. All of the energy you’re expending by exercising helps quiet your mind and make you feel tired enough so that you’re ready to sleep at the end of the day.

Improved Energy

When you’re finally getting enough sleep and have an improved mood from exercising consistently, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much energy you will suddenly have. As humans with busy lives, we have a tendency to abuse things like caffeine to keep energy levels high enough to make it through the day. The problems generated through this aren’t just limited to a caffeine dependency or caffeine addiction, it also makes it harder for us to fall asleep at night which leads to sleeping issues. With regular exercise, your body begins to get a natural boost of energy making things like caffeine less necessary in your daily life which will improve your overall life a great deal.

Increased Focus

With sudden professional success many times comes feelings of being overwhelmed, un-focuses, and burned out. Which shouldn’t be a total shock. You’re spending more time at work, working on work related tasks which makes you feel unbalanced in your personal life and like you’re losing time to spend on the things you once enjoyed. You start forgetting things like meeting dates or times, peoples’ names, standard operating procedures, etc then you are losing cognitive abilities. This can be fixed through regular exercise. I, personally, have found that after running 4 miles, I get a sense of mental clarity and exhilaration that I cannot find by any other means. it’s where I get my best thought process and creative intuition that leads to marvelous entries such as these. When I don’t exercise enough, I find that my creativity suffers, as does my work output and overall life.

Lower Blood Pressure

Suffering from high blood pressure? Could you also stand to lose about thirty pounds? If your waist band is a little tight and so are the arteries in your neck, physical fitness may be able to help this too. Maintaining a healthy weight as you age is a very important way to control your blood pressure. Regular physical activity (especially cardiovascular activity) strengthens your heart. A stronger heart pumps more blood with less effort which decreases the force placed on your arteries to pump blood through them.

Live Longer

You have less body fat, less anxiety, less stress (one of the leading killers in the United States), lower blood pressure, more energy, better sleep, a stronger heart, stronger bones, and improved muscle tone and strength. Of course, you are going to live longer. When you treat your body the way it deserves to be treated (eating the right things, exercising frequently, growing your mind through reading, etc.) it will return the favor by giving you a long and enjoyable life.

What Kinds of Exercise Should I Do?

If you work a primarily sedentary job and you don’t spend much time working out now, you should consult with your physician prior to starting any new exercise program. If you begin to use a professional personal trainer (which can be very beneficial), most professionals will have you fill out a Health History Questionaire or a PARQ to ascertain if you need a doctor’s written permission to begin an exercise program. If you’re wanting to just incorporate a simple 30 minutes a day for exercise and you’re not sure where to start, here’s a helpful list of activities that will keep you moving:

  • Landscaping: gardening, mowing the lawn, weed eating, pulling weeds, mulching, cleaning out the gutters, raking leaves, spreading fertilizer.
  • Household chores: vacuuming, scrubbing floors, sweeping, dusting, just stay moving and cleaning.
  • Cardiovascular Exercising: running, jogging, bicycling, Zumba, dancing, walking, stair climbing
  • Weight lifting, Crossfit, power lifting.
  • Sports: Basketball, soccer, baseball/softball, kickball, dodgeball, football, volleyball, etc.
  • Other activities: Swimming, yoga, Pilates, dog walking, boxing, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, kickboxing, martial arts, etc.

The Department of Health and Huan Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.

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