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  • Pat­rina M. Clark, SPHR, HCS, RACC
    Speaker | Trainer | Con­sul­tant | Coach
17 Oct

Five Small Ideas with a Big Impact

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Image from the Global Well Being Institute Image from the Global Well Being Insti­tute Global Well Being Insti­tute

Have you ever been in the mid­dle of doing some­thing when you sud­denly stop and won­der why you are doing it? Some­how in the chaos of every­day liv­ing you real­ize that you’re rarely actu­ally pay­ing atten­tion to what you’re doing. You aren’t liv­ing inten­tion­ally, but rather on auto-​pilot.

Func­tion­ing on autopi­lot rather than inten­tion­ally focus­ing can leave us feel­ing unin­spired. Being present for our lives – liv­ing inten­tion­ally – can dra­mat­i­cally increase our energy lev­els, enthu­si­asm, and over­all enjoy­ment because we empower our­selves to do the things that mat­ter most to us. Mak­ing even small changes to our daily rou­tines can cause a big shift from a task-​driven exis­tence to a passion-​driven one. So, try these five ideas and see what a dif­fer­ence you feel.

1. Start by slow­ing down. It’s easy to get caught up in our fast paced world – espe­cially with our smart devices con­tin­u­ally beck­on­ing. Do each activ­ity you have planned for the day with pur­pose. Don’t blaze through your rock pile of things to do anx­iously antic­i­pat­ing the next big rock that needs to be moved. If you begin to feel over­whelmed, take five-​minutes to recharge with some slow deep breaths.

2. Smile and keep your cool. Stud­ies show that even if you don’t feel like smil­ing, the act of it will improve your mood. See, our brain reacts to the acti­va­tion of the smile mus­cles – it can’t tell whether we’re really happy or just fak­ing it. And, when we’re happy, we’re less likely to be reac­tive because we have fewer stress hor­mones cours­ing through our bod­ies. Being less reac­tive and more inten­tion­ally active increases the like­li­hood of a great out­come – and increases the num­ber of authen­tic smiles.

3. Say yes to you. There is a rea­son flight atten­dants admon­ish us to put our own oxy­gen masks on before attempt­ing to assist oth­ers. Tak­ing care of our­selves is the absolute best gift we can give to every­one — most espe­cially our­selves. Many of us, par­tic­u­larly women strug­gle with lim­it­ing beliefs about self­ish­ness that can cause us to feel guilty about tak­ing time for our­selves. As I shared in my last blog­post, being wisely self­ish is a win-​win for us and for the peo­ple who love us.

4. Find an area of focus rather than obsess­ing over goals. Here’s the dif­fer­ence between a goal and a focus area: a goal is work­ing towards an out­come you want, while a focus is an activ­ity that you want to spend your time doing. The goal is exter­nally dri­ven – the focus area is inter­nally moti­vated. For exam­ple, if you love to paint, focus on express­ing your awe­some cre­ative gift rather than set­ting a goal of becom­ing a rec­og­nized artist. Liv­ing inten­tion­ally doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean becom­ing the top per­son in your field, but fully enjoy­ing each moment you’re for­tu­nate enough to be doing some­thing you love. Goals have their place – we just shouldn’t allow them to suck all of the enjoy­ment out of the things we love.

5. Finally, lighten up and have some fun. Don’t live life like it’s some­thing that has to get done. Your life is sup­posed to feel good to you – I promise that if you live your life in a way that aligns with that belief, you will go beyond sur­viv­ing to actu­ally thriv­ing. You will want to show up for your life over and over – and, you will truly begin to love the skin you’re in.

If you could ben­e­fit from a sup­port part­ner to help you get recal­i­brated, sched­ule a com­pli­men­tary coach­ing con­sul­ta­tion today.

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