Five things that ruin your focus and productivity

July 24th, 2014

Struggling to get things done? Here are five things to avoid if you want to power through the day with high energy and determination.

We’ve all experienced those days where it feels like nothing has been achieved and there is still a long ‘to do’ list hanging around that never seems to get completed.

While lack of sleep and poor energy may contribute to this hindered productivity, most of the time it comes down to simple things that steal away your focus and determination throughout the day without you even realising.

Below are five top things that can kill your productivity and how to overcome them:

Setting unrealistic goals and long tasks 

Writing a long list of things to get done is never going to motivate you. In fact it will probably make your mind feel more jumbled and less enthusiastic. Set yourself a simple task list every day that can be easily achieved and you will feel much more positive as each one gets ticked off. 

Skipping meals to focus on other things

Never assume there isn’t enough time to eat. Missing meals to work will see your energy levels plummet, resulting in slower progress and an easily distracted mind. Keep some healthy snacks to hand throughout the day and make sure you break for lunch.

Letting negative feedback get to you

There’s always the possibility that if something doesn’t work out, you can feel completely at loss and tempted to give up on everything else. Negative feedback and failure is key for progression, so take everything on board with a positive outlook and use it to make a difference.

Not being able to say ‘no’

If you should be doing something more important, you need to learn to say ‘no’ – whether it’s to friends, family or work colleagues. Setting boundaries will help you to be more productive and will give you some space. Saying ‘no’ occasionally is perfectly OK.

Not allowing yourself to have fun and free time

Extensive research shows a strong link between productivity and giving yourself time off. Striking a balance between work and play will enable you to focus more in the workplace as you know your responsibilities will not extend to outside hours. It will also help you to relax more when you are not at work.

If you need help finding the motivation to make a difference and succeed in your life, you may want to consider coaching. Coaches can help you to progress in many areas including business, career, family and relationships. To find out more, please see our life coaching areas page. 

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article. 

How to be successful at anything

July 22nd, 2014

How to be successful at anythingWe look at the steps you need to make to be successful at anything you do.

All of us have different passions, different dreams and different goals we want to accomplish. This means success can look different from one person to the next. While the definition of ‘success’ differs for everyone, the steps you need to take to achieve it remain the same, no matter what your end goal is.

Take a look at the following ways you can help yourself be successful:

Set goals

The first key factor in success is deciding exactly what it is you want in life and deciding the price you are willing to pay to get there. All successful people have clear intentions about what they want in life and discipline themselves to follow through on goals they set.

Find what you’re passionate about

Success tends to be achieved when we follow our passion. By choosing to do what you love every day and dedicating your time to making your dreams come true, you’ll find success.

Work hard

Being diligent and persistent will help you get the best results. Working hard to achieve your goals and avoiding any distractions that may take you off course is key.

Believe in yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, no amount of hard work will help you reach success. Be positive about your goals and eliminate any limiting beliefs you may have.

Never give up

On the road to success there is usually a few obstacles and roadblocks to push through. Stay determined, be persistent and see every obstacle as a challenge. Every time you overcome a setback, you will be better prepared for the next one – building resilience and experience.

If you could do with help setting goals and motivating yourself, you may find it helpful to consult a life coach. You can find one in your local area by using our advanced search tool.

View and comment on the original Beauty and Tips article.

Four steps to happiness

July 17th, 2014

 Four steps to happiness Brighten your day and create your own happiness with the following steps.

Eating healthily and exercising are key for vitality and well-being, yet we sometimes forget that spending time focusing on things that make us truly happy are just as essential for keeping us healthy.

According to a study published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, happiness can have quite a significant impact on overall health and well-being.

In particular, it has been found very effective for reducing cortisol levels – the stress hormone that is linked to health conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

So in order to make the most of these health benefits, we have provided you with a simple guide to incorporating happiness into your daily life. 

Meditate 

Taking time to reflect via meditation is an important means of generating inner peace and allowing you to make a true assessment of your life and the direction you are heading in. This simple activity can be practised anywhere at any time and is scientifically proven to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.  

Positive thinking first thing 

Make a commitment to thinking differently about yourself and your life by doing simple things like counting your blessings every morning after waking up or listening to uplifting music whilst getting dressed. In addition, rather than looking in the mirror focusing on things you are unhappy with and want to change, admire what you love about yourself. It’s a choice to put yourself down.

Embrace your inner child

Whenever a moment of stress hits you, stop what you are doing and escape to a quite place where you can tap into your inner child. Embracing childlike energy by acting a bit silly or thinking about funny things can help to boost creativity and curiosity, and may bring about more positivity and zest for life. 

Sleep to recharge your batteries    

It is well known that sleep can greatly improve health and well-being, but it is also a valuable spiritual practice that helps us to feel mentally and emotionally happier. Lacking essential sleep can drain our spirit and energy, so make sure you dedicate your evenings before bed to winding down and preparing for a good night’s sleep.

If you are keen to explore your spirituality in more depth to promote a more peaceful and happier sense of self, you could benefit from spiritual development coaching. To find out more about this and its benefits, please see our spirituality page. 

View and comment on the original Everyday Health article. 

How to recover from a broken heart

July 15th, 2014

How to recover from a broken heartFollow these basic techniques to help recover from heartbreak.

Most of us have been there – sitting across from our loved one only to hear the words “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I think we work better as friends”. Of course, every relationship is different but the resulting feeling is typically one of heartbreak.

The term heartbreak refers to the pain, distress and anguish we feel due to the strains of love. The experience can be so intense that scientists say it can feel the same as physical pain. In one study, people shown photos of former lovers had similar brain activity to when they felt extreme heat on their arm.

While studies confirm love has a biological basis and that there may eventually be a treatment for heartbreak – currently there is no such quick fix. Instead, try to follow these steps:

Allow yourself to cry

You may feel the need to ‘stay strong’, but sometimes you just have to let yourself feel the pain and let it out. Allow yourself a few days to be upset and be gentle with yourself.

Look to your past

Recall the emotions you went through, from the early loved-up days, to when things got rocky, right up until the relationship ended. Try to think about other relationships to see if you can spot a pattern.

Have a self-care action plan

Look after yourself. Eat healthily, exercise and think of ways you can lift yourself up emotionally, mentally and physically.

Connect

Connect with friends and family and connect with yourself again. Activities like meditation and yoga can help you get in touch with your mind and body. Now is also a great time to throw yourself into your interests, try a new hobby or explore a new skill you haven’t had time for before.

Take as much time as you need to get back on your feet and don’t rush back into the dating scene until you feel ready.

If you feel you could do with some guidance in your love life, a relationship coach may be able to help. Find out more on our relationship coaching page.

View and comment on the original Greatist article.

Five things you will learn from setting up your own business

July 11th, 2014

Five things you will learn from setting up your own business Becoming an entrepreneur is a big adventure, but you will learn plenty of valuable skills along the way that can be of lifelong importance.

Starting your own business can be a very daunting yet exciting time, especially as you will be learning on the go – figuring out what works and what doesn’t, overcoming challenges, managing your finances effectively and much more.

As well as business acumen, you will also be learning things about yourself – some encouraging and some not. Realising your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses can help to prepare you for the future, and also experiences outside of your entrepreneurship.

Below are some of the top things you will learn from setting up your own business which will be valuable skills for life:

Organisation is a priority

Keep all your business documents and paperwork filed away in an organised fashion to save yourself time, money and stress. Organisation is particularly crucial for tracking progress and monitoring your business’s development. It will also allow you to keep on top of accounts. 

You cannot plan everything 

Although you should map out your business and plan your finances well in advance, when you set up your business you will realise there are some things you really cannot control. These include unexpected payments or unplanned expenses that may crop up every now and then. You need to accept that these setbacks are part of the process, so embrace them and do not let them get you down. Believe in your business and fight for it.

Keep your personal life separate

It is expected that you will channel a large amount of emotional investment into your business, but you need to remember that you have a life outside of work. Making the most of seeing friends, going on holiday and enjoying hobbies around your business is important for health and well-being, and will help to enhance your performance at work. Developing this healthy balance between work and personal life ensures your business is still very meaningful but does not define who you are at your centre.

Ignore the cynicism

Setting up your own business may mean you face cynicism from people who are jealous or do not believe in your vision. It is important to ignore this negativity and not let it affect your decisions. Focus primarily on constructive criticism and suggestions from people that may help to enhance your business. Sometimes you can become so fixated on your ideas and vision that you miss out on innovative opportunities to explore new avenues of marketing and business development. 

You can’t do it all yourself

First time entrepreneurs in particular are often guilty of trying to manage all aspects of their business by themselves. From the manufacturing, the social media interaction, to content writing and website design, there are so many things to keep on top of that you are likely to experience a burnout. Figure out where your strengths in the business lie and focus on that, then hire trained personnel to manage the other areas.

If you need extra help and support in setting up or running your business, you can seek help in the form of a business coach. To find out more about the services they offer and where to find one near you, please see our business coaching page. 

View and comment on the original Lifehack article. 

Six phrases that are holding you back

July 8th, 2014

Six phrases that are holding you backChange the way you speak to yourself to follow your dreams and change your life.

Your words have an incredible power – they are the origin of your internal and external experiences. This means that when you change the way you speak to yourself, you’ll see your life change too.

Take a look at the following six phrases that are holding you back from your potential:

1. I’m scared

No matter how big or small, going for what you’ve always dreamed is always going to take you out of your comfort zone. It is natural and normal to feel frightened, but you shouldn’t let fear stop you. Instead of saying ‘I’m scared’ try saying ‘I’m excited’.

2. I don’t have enough money/time/knowledge etc.

Who says you don’t have enough? You are the only person who can allow these thoughts to stop you. Instead of focussing on what you don’t have, look at all the resources you do have and figure out how to leverage them.

3. That’s just who I am

When you look at yourself in this fixated way, you will see many situations as hopeless. We are constantly evolving and adapting, so look at where you are not acting in accordance to what you want and consider how you can adapt. Self-awareness breeds transformation.

4. It’s too hard

Following your dreams isn’t easy, it takes work. Whenever you think something feels hard, take a minute and consider why you are doing it – look at the bigger picture. Instead of thinking it as ‘work’ think of it as what you get to do to realise your dreams.

5. I’m not ready

This is a kind of perfectionism and it will always stop you in your tracks. By making the first move, you’ll become ready. So instead of putting something off until you feel ready, seize the moment and think ‘if not now, when?’.

6. I’ve tried before and it didn’t work out

Failure is simply the universe’s way of teaching us what doesn’t work to help you get closer to your dreams – so if you have tried and failed, consider yourself one step ahead of the rest. Focus on what you can do differently and what you learnt the first time round.

If you think you might be holding yourself back and could do with a little guidance, you may find it helpful to consult a life coach. Find out more on our personal development page.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

It’s never too late to change your life

July 4th, 2014

It's never too late to change your life Experts stress that it is never too late to kick bad habits and make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease.

According to scientists from the Northwestern University in Chicago, embarking on a healthier lifestyle in middle age can control and even reverse the natural progression of coronary heart disease.

Simple changes like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, choosing healthier foods and taking regular exercise are enough to undo heart damage and dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack.

In stark contrast however, people who adopt unhealthy habits as they age are more likely to inflict significant damage on their heart.

Lead researcher, professor Bonnie Spring, said: “You’re not doomed if you’ve hit young adulthood and acquired some bad habits. You can still make a change and it will have a benefit for your heart.

“But if you don’t keep up a healthy lifestyle, you’ll see the evidence in terms of your risk of heart disease.”

Changes in your 30s and 40s were found to have the most impact on heart health, and this conclusion was reached following the assessment of 5,000 participants over several decades.

Researchers studied healthy lifestyle behaviours and coronary artery calcification and thickening, and assessed participants at ages 18 to 30 then 20 years later.

The healthy lifestyle factors assessed were:

  • Not being obese or overweight.
  • Being a non-smoker.
  • Keeping physically active.
  • Having a low alcohol intake.
  • Eating a healthy diet.

By young adulthood, less than one in 10 of participants reported all five healthy lifestyle behaviours.

Later on, at the 20-year mark, around 25% had added at least one healthy behaviour.

With every increase of a healthy lifestyle behaviour, participants showed significantly reduced odds of detectable coronary artery calcification.

Prof Spring said that this finding helped to debunk two particular myths held by some healthcare professionals – that it’s nearly impossible to change behaviour and that any damage already done cannot be reversed.

If you need help sticking to a healthy lifestyle, you may want to consider speaking to a life coach. Coaching can provide you with motivation to keep going, whilst helping you to see the changes as a positive thing rather than something you feel pressured to do. For more information, please see our health page.

View and comment on the original Daily Express article. 

Kat’s Happiness Project – June

July 1st, 2014

Kat's Happiness Project - JuneWe are six months in to this yearlong project and June was all about connections.

Hello1Isn’t it crazy to think we are already half way through 2014? I think doing this project really helps you to take stock about the time that’s passed and what lies ahead. For June my focus was on connections – connecting with friends and family, connecting with nature and basically taking some time away from online life. Let’s see how I got on.

1. Have an Internet free evening once a week

A goal that sounds so easy on the surface (especially when you are online all day for work), but is really rather difficult to put into practice. It made me realise how much looking on my phone was habit more than anything else. While I would be lying if I said I stuck to this goal in its entirety, I did spend the odd evening away from the Internet and read from time to time… baby steps.

2. Spend some quality time with family

I was quite lucky that June was my sister’s birthday and also the month that we had arranged a family day out – an easy goal to keep. Both events involved doing things none of us had done before and it was so lovely to do this with family – it really shook up the routine conversations.

3. Connect with friends, in real life

Most of my friends live in different towns to me, and my oldest friend has relocated to Switzerland. This goal therefore required some effort and planning – which I’m pleased to say I did. I spent a weekend visiting my friend in Switzerland, seeing the home she has made for herself, and then I met my other friends for a long overdue catch-up dinner. We decided there and then that we would all try to work at least one ‘real life’ catch-up into our schedules every month.

4. Reconnect with nature

As you can probably spot from my picture above – I did manage to connect with nature this month. In Switzerland we went on a long hike in the mountains, taking in beautiful views and listening to cow bells in the distance. When I got home I kept up this momentum and went on several walks, and came across this beautiful deer. And yes, I did eventually share this picture online, but in that moment there was nothing but me and nature (promise).

July goals

In the Happiness Project book, July is dedicated to money – so this month I’ll be looking at all aspects of money and possessions, including whether or not money can buy happiness (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it). My money-related goals for July are therefore:

  • indulge in a modest splurge
  • buy needful things
  • spend money on an experience
  • get rid of possessions I no longer need/use.

How do you unplug and connect to real life? Let me know on the Life Coach Directory Facebook page.

Catch up with previous Happiness Project blogs.

Rediscover your motivation and set achievable goals with Life Coach Directory

June 30th, 2014

With National Motivation day just around the corner, Life Coach Directory explores the key tools to rediscovering your motivation and making life-changing decisions.

There’s a reason why National Motivation day (1st July) takes place halfway through the year. Six months after mapping out New Year’s resolutions, many will have seen their motivation slip off the radar, and along with it their personal goals and visions for the future.

Sometimes life can dampen the resolve to keep working towards goals. Whether it’s dull, mundane routines or difficult challenges, it can be easy to lose sight of success. Motivation is key for providing the strength and sense of purpose needed to push people through these setbacks – helping them to venture beyond their comfort zone and make the most of every opportunity in work and personal life.

So how is it possible to set achievable goals and maintain the level of motivation needed to stay on track several months down the line?

Life Coach Directory speaks to professional coach, Rachel Coffey1 who specialises in supporting and guiding clients through motivation and personal development coaching.

Speaking about motivation and how to rediscover it, Rachel explains that rather than simply focusing on what we want, we should “create a need to achieve”.

“Once there is a real need for something we tend to become very resourceful and determined in order to achieve our goal”, she says. “A genuine need creates an automatic sense of motivation and our goal moves from being a pipe dream to something we are planning and actively working towards achieving.”

Ultimately, motivation is unique to each individual – what motivates one person may not motivate another – so identifying personal needs allows a person to discover and maintain a sense of direction and purpose that is meaningful to them. Rachel adds that creating a need to achieve will also provide a bigger sense of satisfaction once a goal is met.

Setting life-changing goals
Goal setting according to Rachel is primarily a means of “making a decision to do something and then doing it”. These decisions need to be clear and specific and above all, achievable. This is crucial for maintaining motivation and ensuring higher chances of success.

“It’s simple, if we don’t feel inspired to achieve our goal, it will hold very little interest for us long term,” Rachel explains. “If we don’t perceive the feeling of fulfilment at the end of our hard work to be something we really think is worth the effort, we are not going to feel motivated to do the things that will get us there.”

In order to set achievable, life-changing goals, Rachel recommends the DISC method:

D – Decision.
I  – Informed.
S – Specific.
C – Clear.

Decision making
Making a positive and firm decision is key to goal setting, as it eliminates any sense of uncertainty that may hinder motivation to start doing it or stay on track. Many people may worry about what they might do or should do, but making a precise decision sets a path full of purpose and confidence.

Be informed
Research is important for gaining valuable insight into all aspects of a particular goal. Having an understanding of what is being pursued can help to prevent any unexpected hiccups that may dampen motivation along the way. Research also allows for the modification and shaping of goals to ensure they fit a particular schedule – enhancing chances of success.

Be specific
According to Rachel, a clear and distinguished goal “makes it feel more real and personal”. She explains that weight-loss, for example, should be accompanied by a timescale and a specific goal weight to ensure it can really be achieved. Being specific also makes it difficult to cheat and fall short of a goal halfway through achieving it. “You won’t be able to kid yourself that you have made more progress than you have,” Rachel says.

Be clear
A goal that has clarity will be far easier to stick to. Being completely honest about personal motives and what needs to be achieved is empowering and inspiring, and will ultimately boost chances of success. Alternatively, working towards a goal for reasons deemed ‘acceptable’ to others and not personal could be demotivating.

Here at Life Coach Directory we list professionals who are dedicated to empowering individuals to make, meet and exceed goals in both their personal and professional lives. Our aim is to inspire and help you on your journey to becoming happier and more fulfilled, so visit us today at Life Coach Directory to discover a whole new meaning to life.

References

[1] Rachel Coffey is a London-based life coach specialising in motivation coaching.

Five daily habits to manifest success

June 26th, 2014

Five daily habits to manifest successBring success into every day with these simple tips.

Us humans are incredibly creative beings with the power to create so much of what we imagine for ourselves. All it takes is a strong will, desire and the belief that we can do it. Below are five daily habits that will help you remain strongly creative and manifest success each and every day.

1. Begin every day knowing that today, anything is possible

It is very easy to allow troubles from yesterday sneak into your belief system the next day, hindering what you think you are capable of. Starting each day with a deliberate sense of optimism will help you to attract success into your day, so be sure to consider each day a new opportunity and forget issues from the past.

2. Set daily intentions

Setting intentions every morning is one of the most powerful things you can do to manifest success. Be conscious of your daily intentions and set them with laser-like precision.

3. Act in some way toward these intentions

It is all very well setting your intentions, but if you don’t follow this up with action, it is unlikely that anything will happen. Demonstrate your commitment to your intention with an action (no matter how small) every day; for example, if your intention is to start a new career, your action could be to research potential mentors within the industry.

4. Change the way you view obstacles

There are two ways you can deal with obstacles – resistance or acceptance. Resisting obstacles takes time and often causes suffering, while accepting them gets them over and done with quicker with less suffering. View obstacles as tools for learning and embrace them in order to overcome them and move on.

5. Love who you are

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of manifesting your desires – love who you are. Without self-love there is no belief in a fulfilling outcome. When you love who you are, you open yourself up to everything the universe has to offer and your energy will attract all of it to you.

If you feel you could benefit from a little life guidance, you may find it useful to hire a life coach. To find out more, please see our personal development page.

View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.