How to make friends as an adult

November 22nd, 2014

How to make friends as an adultKeep reading to find out why it’s so difficult to make friends when you get older, and how you can take positive steps to build these new relationships.

Making friends when you were a child was rather easy. You had a number of school classes, lunch breaks, extra-curricular sports activities and social clubs to meet other children and form new relationships. As you get older, with work and family commitments, meeting new people and forming new relationships gets harder and harder. Sometimes you have an evening to yourself and you just want to relax, rather than going out to meet new people or socialise with your current friends.

Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen says “Professionals who accomplish amazing goals like starting companies often admit that they have a hard time making friends.”

According to a 2013 study by the Psychological Bulletin, social circles tend to increase through early adulthood, but friendship groups peak and then start to decrease as you transcend through your late twenties. The research suggested that the reason for this drop was often down to parenthood, marriage and a desire to focus on stronger relationships.

Consistency is key

As a child you had the consistency of the school day followed by playing with friends until it was time for dinner. As adults, we don’t have that consistency after work. Perhaps joining a group that meets up on a regular basis like a book club, a gym class or a workshop could give you that consistency to build new relationships.

Friendship is thought to be limited to its ‘container’. In the case of the working day, the ‘container’ will be your job. Your friendship with your work colleagues is fine throughout the day, but stops as soon as work ends. You need to initiate something outside of the ‘container’ to cement these relationships i.e. invite them round to watch the game, go out for lunch or a even few drinks after work.

It’s your turn to be vulnerable

To deepen relationships, vulnerability is the key. If you don’t open yourself up, friendships can become superficial and meaningless. Try leaving your comfort zone with a group of friends – take up salsa dancing or a skiing course. This will make both you and your potential friends feel vulnerable, needing each other to provide support.

While you’re building new relationships, try hard to maintain them and keep all communication positive and cheerful. This will reflect on you as a person and give you the biggest chance on cementing these new friendships.

If you would like advice on how to make more friends as an adult, you might want to consult a life coach. To find a life coach in your area, use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

How to get the most out of your morning

November 20th, 2014

How to get the most out of your morningBe proactive and rediscover your mornings. We find out how to make the most of your time in the early hours.

Maximising your mornings can kickstart your productivity. Morning people get more things done before others even wake up, and some research suggests that they’re more conscientious and friendlier.

Rescue your morning with these tips:

1. Plan ahead

Start a ritual that gets you ready for the next day – iron your clothes, make your sandwiches and write a to-do list.

2. Turn electronic devices off

Give yourself times to relax before bedtime. Turn off the computer and TV an hour before you go to sleep and try reading a book. The light emitted from such screens can keep you awake far beyond the point when you turn them off.

3. Wake up early

Try waking up at 6am if you don’t already. This is what top executives from Twitter, PepsiCo and Disney do to get things done.

4. Set a routine

Start each day the same so you know what’s happening next, maximising your time.

5. Exercise

Try stretching, yoga or a quick jog to get your blood pumping. Studies show that you will feel more alert and motivated after a bit of exercise.

6. Work on a project

If you have a passion project, try adding to it in the morning. This can get your creative juices flowing ready for the day ahead!

7. Put the radio on

Music can keep your mind focused on the job at hand. It can also relax you, putting you in the right frame of mind ready for a day at work.

When you get to work

1. Set a goal

Set yourself a goal to achieve to keep you motivated and on-task.

2. Manage your energy

Select tasks that need your creative energy for the mornings. You do not want to be embarking on them in the afternoon when you are ready to go home!

3. Try to ignore your emails for the first hour

If you can avoid checking your emails for the first hour and focus on completing a task, it will help boost your productivity and prevent you from getting distracted.

If you would like advice on how to structure your morning or working day, a life coach might be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Five tips to master any skill

November 14th, 2014

Five tips to master any skillTake a leap forward and experience something new. We explore how you can adapt your approach to help master any skill.

Some people in the world today are happy in their comfort zone, being able to go through day-to-day life without making large strides towards important goals. Most of us can understand why, because the amount of time and effort it takes to learn a new skill or do something totally different with your life can seem very daunting.

If you do want to embark on the journey of learning a new skill, read these five tips that will help you do just that.

1. Analyse the skill to make it less overwhelming

Learning a new skill can be extremely overwhelming because you don’t know where to start. Some skills are even a mesh of other skills put together. Take football for example, you need physical strength, fitness, foot-to-eye co-ordination, hand-to-eye co-ordination if you play in goal and also a great amount of composure.

By breaking the skill down, you can target on an aspect of this skill to start learning or improving first.

2. Commit to 20 hours of practice

Schedule the hours into your week so you have no excuse to skip it. The first few hours of practise will always be hard, but it is imperative that you don’t lose confidence in your own abilities. It will get easier!

3. Have a true end goal

You might want to master a new skill, but everybody has a different perception on what mastering a skill actually is. For example if you wanted to learn guitar, you might think learning Stairway to Heaven would be the idea of mastering the skill, but someone else’s interpretation might be learning Comfortably Numb.

If you set an insurmountable goal to reach in your 20-hour practise time, you are more likely to give up sooner. But if you set a reasonable goal, you are more likely to carry on.

4. Visualise

Visualise yourself learning and performing your chosen skill. This can boost your morale and make you feel more confident in yourself.

5. Be confident, but be humble

After the first few hours you might be picking up a few tricks, after the first 10 you might be getting a lot better from when you started. Confidence is great, but don’t let it go to your head. Don’t be too cocky as you might feel like that you know it all, but let’s be honest, you probably won’t. Feel proud of your achievements, and keep the mindset that you can always improve.

If you would like advice from a life coach to help you achieve your goals, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Eight steps to kindness

November 13th, 2014

Eight steps to kindnessKeep reading for eight ways to invite kindness into your life.

Sometimes the best way to bring kindness into your life is to radiate kindness yourself. Here we explore some simple ways you can do just that:

1. Write a thank you card

If anyone has helped you recently and you have forgotten to thank them properly, write a thank you card to give them some written praise. This will show how much their efforts mean to you.

2. Be friendly to people who work in customer service

People in customer service are there to help you, so taking your anger out on them for something the company has done is not always fair. Try to be friendly and remember, people in customer service spend six to eight hours of their working day trying to resolve other people’s problems.

3. Put your mobile phone away

When you are having a conversation with someone, try to avoid the temptation of constantly checking your mobile – this suggests that you don’t care about what the person is saying. Instead, put your phone away and give the other person your undivided attention.

4. Speak positively

If you say something unkind about someone, it normally makes you look bad in the process. If you speak highly of other people, however (and refrain from focusing on the negative) the perception of your personality will improve significantly.

5. Ask questions if a friend confides in you

Remember, your friend trusts you and wants your input – otherwise why would they come to you? If you ask questions it lets them know that you are concerned about their problems. You can offer advice too, but only if they ask for it.

6. Be a responsible and understanding driver, especially in rush hour

Rush hour traffic can create hostility in some drivers, so it’s up to you to create some peace and tranquility in these moments of madness. Let people merge in front of you when possible, within reason of course, and cooperate with other drivers; at the end of the day we’re all just trying to get somewhere.

7. Volunteer your time

There are many different charities and non-profit organisations out there that need your help, so don’t hold back from volunteering. When you do, make sure your goal is to help people in need and not to line your pockets.

8. Donate old possessions to charity

If you have a lot of material possessions, think about donating some of them to charity. Doing this will free up some much needed space and make you feel great in the process!

If you are looking to invite kindness into your life, you might find our personal development page useful.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Positive actions for self-improvement

November 7th, 2014

Positive actions for self-improvementWe explore five positive actions that you can take to find a sense of fulfilment.

Self-improvement is a tough nut to crack when you live a hectic life. Work, personal relationships, day-to-day tasks… they all add up to leave you very little spare time to focus on ‘being better than you were yesterday’.

Actions are better than intentions. Just because you have been meaning to learn the guitar does not mean you can now play Wonderwall. To start your journey of self-improvement, you need to take small, actionable steps to start with so you don’t fall into the wishful thinking trap where you imagine doing something, rather than doing it.

Thank you note

Try and think of someone who has helped you recently, displayed a small token of kindness or has simply been a good friend. Send them a note of thanks, and offer your help back. This might not seem as self-improvement, but developing your personal relationships plays a key role in your journey.

Make a list

Make a list of the most important things in your life. Limit the list to less than five and prioritise them. These things could include people, goals, principles to live by or anything you can think of. Remind yourself of these when you lose perspective.

Take a break without your mobile phone

Try taking a five-minute walk without your mobile phone to allow thoughts to flow through your mind without any distractions. This can prove beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

Learn a new language

Learning a new language is tough but can be a way to improve your skillset. In this digital age, learning a coding language can be extremely beneficial not only for you, but for your friends and colleagues too. There are plenty of resources online for learning coding languages so you can get started ASAP.

Start a Pinterest board of what you aim to be

This can start with your role models, things you want to learn, positive images and any other things that might increase your motivation to succeed. If visualisation helps you achieve your goals in life, this might be the perfect opportunity for it.

If you feel you need advice on how to self-improve, you may want to consult a life coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Kat’s Happiness Project – October

November 4th, 2014

Kat's Happiness Project - OctoberWith just two months to go, the year is almost over – but is Life Coach Directory blogger Kat feeling any happier?

Hello1life is nothing if not without a sense of irony. For October my mission was to use science-backed theories to make myself feel happier, and as it turned out, October was the month I would need it the most, as a long-term relationship sadly ended. So, let’s see how the Happiness Project fared during this less than happy month…

Watch a feel-good movie

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted by the idea of watching sad break-up films with my cat while crying hysterically, but thankfully I remembered my goal and stuck to feel-good films. I watched a few carefully selected favourite films that made me smile and I must say this did make me feel better, albeit briefly.

Monitor how much I laugh

This one may have fallen by the wayside this month – but I did make an effort to be social and have a good laugh with my friends. Spending time with friends and laughing about life is honestly a brilliant way to feel better after a break up.

Do a good deed

For this goal I wanted to do something tangible, so I decided to sign up to a care-package swap that one of my favourite magazines is organising. This involves creating a package full of beautiful, fun and quirky things for the sole purpose of making someone smile. This isn’t taking place until later in November, but I’m excited to create my package already.

Have a dance when I’m feeling down

I will be honest here – there was quite a lot of feeling down this month, so I didn’t dance every time… but I certainly did indulge once or twice. One of these instances was in the kitchen with my mum and dad before we all fell about laughing. Again a quick-fix for feeling lighter, but worth it nonetheless.

Goals for November

This month I wanted to pick my own theme for my goals rather than following the Happiness Project book, and that theme is to challenge myself. I want to be braver, meet new people and do things I usually shy away from.

  • research an adult learning course to start next year
  • go to the cinema alone
  • say yes to every social invitation (where possible)
  • have a voice at work and at play.

Are you taking part in your own happiness project? Let me know how you’re getting on via our Facebook page.

Catch up on previous Happiness Project blogs.

How to bring happiness into your life

November 1st, 2014

How to bring happiness into your lifeWe explore a handful of secrets that make people happy.

What really makes people happy? While happiness may be subjective – there are certain things in life that make us all feel better and more uplifted. So what are the secrets of being happy?

Give back

Money is a double-edged sword in terms of happiness. If you have enough money to satisfy your basic needs, you can use it to increase your social standing, or give it away. Happy people tend to use their money in a positive, charitable way by helping others. They feel happy because they are contributing towards a positive cause.

Avoid drama

To be happy, you need to avoid getting caught up in other people’s relationships and what they are saying about each other behind each other’s back. Happy people tend to focus on what they can control themselves. They attend to their own lives, and feel happier because of it.

Be grateful

Most happy people are grateful for what they have, without boasting about it. They do not dream about things their neighbour has; and are content with what they have got. Take a few moments to appreciate what you have, as taking things for granted can lead to unhappiness.

Always look on the bright side

Try to be optimistic about all the decisions you make in life, and when things don’t go your way, focus on improvement next time round. It’s easy to dwell on failures, but the key to happiness is to look past them and have faith you will bounce back.

Value your relationships

Putting more effort into on personal relationships rather than obtaining money and career development can increase your happiness. Looking back on life, you won’t necessarily remember what you did in your career, but more the relationships you developed and enjoyed. Try putting people before money in your pursuit for happiness.

If you feel you need a little help on how to increase happiness in your life, you may want to consult a life coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Liven up your workday

October 31st, 2014

Liven up your workdayWorking in a corporate job? We explore how to liven up your day in office hours.

Many of us work in corporate environments that don’t always give us the flexibility to live the healthiest of lives. It’s hard to eat and drink healthily when you’ve had a long day and crave a coffee and junk food, but with these tips you might be able to change that.

Devise a mantra

Create a mantra and stick to it. Write something positive on a post-it note and remind yourself of it whenever you feel stressed or under pressure. This will help bring balance back into your working day.

Swap an afternoon coffee break for a brisk walk

Instead of filling up on caffeine in the afternoon, which could affect your sleep pattern, take a brisk walk around your office grounds. A breath of fresh air and exercise will give you the energy boost you need to get you through the remainder of the day.

Bring healthy snacks to work

Try not to give in to temptation and nip down to the cafeteria to stock up on unhealthy snacks. Bring in fruit and oatmeal bars that are high in protein to keep you fuller for longer throughout the day.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can cause unwelcome headaches, low energy and fatigue. According to research, people should consume around half their bodyweight of water per day. So drinking a lot of water will keep your energy levels stable.

Give happy hour a miss

Alcohol consumption can intensify anxiety and fatigue. With the limited amount of time you have after work, try doing some fitness instead of going out for a drink. You could start a sports team, go for a cycle ride or find a gym buddy to work out with and then go for a healthy bite to eat afterwards.

Try one of these tips when your stress levels get too much at work. Hopefully they will make a positive impact on your working life.

If you feel you could benefit from a little help when dealing with stress at work, visit our dedicated stress page to find out how a life coach can help.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Using your anxiety to boost productivity

October 24th, 2014

Using your anxiety to boost productivityIf you suffer from anxiety, try using it to boost productivity with these tips.

Anxiety is tied to our survival instinct. It is entirely natural to worry over the future, but when it gets out of hand or hinders our performance in our job or regular life, we have a problem. In time, you might be able to learn how to use your anxiety in a positive way to boost productivity. Here’s how:

Accept anxiety as a fact

Learning to better manage anxiety may come down to being more accepting of it. Anxiety is a normal reaction everyone goes through so it is important to try to understand it.

Mind map

Creating a mind map of your anxieties can be cathartic. It could help you release some of your worries you’ve bottled up over time, which can offer instant relief. Mind mapping often gives you an objective overview of your thoughts, allowing you to really understand why your anxiety is getting out of hand.

Is it a productive or unproductive worry?

We can have both productive and unproductive worries. An unproductive worry cannot be helped by anything we can do. An example could be the current financial climate or simply a mistake a friend has made which you have no control over.

A productive worry is something you can help by figuring out how to solve the problems that leads to the anxiety. For example, you could be worrying about failing at a job interview. Firstly, acknowledge this worry and then take steps to alleviate it. Actively researching the company, and practising general interview questions with a friend can help in this situation. Taking these sorts of active steps to alleviate your anxiety issues can improve your performance.

Use anxiety as an energy boost

According to Steve Orma, a San Francisco-based psychologist, anxiety gives you an adrenaline and energy rush. You can focus that energy on improving your performance on tasks. Professional athletes get this sort of feeling before events, but they try to channel it to improve their performance.

Give yourself a break

If anxiety over a situation or decision is really hampering your mood, take a step back and return to it later. Continuously fretting about the decision you are thinking about making can be counterproductive. Instead, try to walk away from it, sleep on it, or focus on something else. When you come back to the situation you will feel refreshed and might be able to figure out an answer from a different angle.

If you feel you could benefit from a little help when dealing with anxiety, you may want to consult a life coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

Turn career envy into motivation

October 23rd, 2014

Turning career envy into motivationStruggling with career envy? Try using it as motivation.

Everyone knows somebody who has a better career than they do. This could be because they earn more money, have a better work/life balance or their jobs are more enjoyable.

The rise of social media has highlighted what’s going on in people’s lives. If someone loves what they do, they will let you know about it via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on.

While these posts may make you feel down about your own career, there are ways to refocus your envy into motivation.

You make your own luck

Just because someone is working for their dream employer, doesn’t mean they didn’t work hard to get there.

Try approaching that person and asking them how they got to the position they are in. They might not even realise their position is enviable, and you might just find your new career mentor.

Why are you envious?

The obvious response would be because others are doing better than you are. You’ve been aiming to get a promotion for the last year and your colleague got there in six months.

This can highlight how often you compare yourself to others. Lauren Bacon, seasoned tech entrepreneur, business coach and author writes: “It’s part ego (But what does this say about me?), part creative drive (What more am I capable of?), and part deep soul yearning (How can I make an impact, leave a legacy, and matter?).”

Use envy as motivation

After you have found the answer to why you are jealous, take that final step. Find out what qualities make you jealous and see if you can adapt them to fit your life. If you celebrate a colleague’s raise through gritted teeth, focus on acquiring your own promotion.

Only compete with yourself

Competing with yourself, beating your personal bests and reaching your own goals is a far healthier way to approach work life.

Envy can lead us to say some harsh things about our colleagues and ourselves. So channel that envy into motivation and gain the benefits almost immediately.

If you feel you could benefit from channelling career envy into motivation, you may want to consult a life coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.