Smartful Coaching

Adversity Flip™

Turn Adversity Over to Find Something Good

05 February
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Make The Decision To Seek Happiness Over Adversity

How happy are you? Is it a stressor when you’re asked whether you’re happy? Do you have to work at happiness or do you wake up in the morning in a stellar mood? What if you could take a few simple steps toward happy and away from negativity or adversity?

The power of positive thinking is an incredible power to harness. Here are three steps I try to undertake when I need to flip my switch in my brain to “Happy”:

  1. Start the day with reflection. Take the time to reflect on the successes of the prior day and plan for success on the day ahead. Take the time to answer the questions: Who are you? What do you want to do? What makes you happy? Answering these questions will steer you toward positivity and help you to reflect on you own existence and its place in the world. When you’re feeling stressed during the day step away for a few minutes of positive reflection – it will help you get back on track.
  2. Endeavor to make one small change a day, every day. Keeping your brain active and engaged is crucial for happiness and success. Break out of a rut. It could be as simple as shaking up your morning routine to completing a crossword puzzle to learning a new task.
  3. Go with the flow. This is one that I struggle with almost daily. You need to let go of anger at interruptions and adapt to the changes. Write down those things that are stopping your “flow.” Determine from the items that you’ve written down: What is within your control and what is outside of the realm of your control? Knowing which are which will help you more easily let go of those things over which you have no control. Take time for deep, meditative breaths or a quick, relaxing walk.

What will you do to make your day a happier, more productive one? What do you need to do to get back in the flow?

  Robbi Hess, Social Wordsmith, is a professional blogger, social media consultant and creative thinker. She works with entrepreneurs providing professional writing services including: writing web copy, newsletters, guest and ghost blogging and long letter copywriting. She is also a speaker on the subjects of time management, writing and productivity. “Helping entrepreneurs find the ‘write’ words!” 

29 January
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En-’Vision’-ing Success in 30 Days

Is it possible to achieve a dream in 30 days? Do you have a vision of where you want to be — both personally and professionally? Does it seem a daunting task to reach that milestone? How about committing to 30 days to a more productive you? Having accomplished more and crossed more off your to do list at the end of the day, week, and month is such a heady feeling of accomplishment and it propels you toward even greater heights of productivity and vision attainment.

There are five steps that I have found beneficial in reaching my goals and which have helped me envision success:

  1. Commit to 30 days. You don’t have to wait until the first of the month to start this. Start today and commit for the next 30 days going forward. Having an end in sight may make you more likely to stick to it a goal/project. If you find the steps you’ve implemented aren’t working, feel free to toss them or look for new ones at the end of your 30 days.
  2. Make certain your goals are realistic. Yes, we’ve heard about those rare individuals that can pen a bestselling novel in 30 days or reach a six figure sales goal in a month… those individuals are few and far between. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Remember, you’re looking to change your work habits and you can’t change yourself overnight. Don’t let a missed goal make you feel like an under-achiever; instead determine whether the goal was truly reachable.
  3. Baby steps are critical to making it to the top and achieving success with your goal. Remember, it’s easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time than to tackle it all in one meal.
  4. Find an accountability partner. Having a goal-buddy keeps you both accountable and helps you stay on task. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of when you’re feeling stymied and run down.
  5. You need to believe in yourself, your capabilities and your skills. Be confident in who you are and what you do and that will go a long way in helping you reach your 30 day goal.

What will you set as your 30 day mile marker?

 Robbi Hess, Social Wordsmith, is a professional blogger, social media consultant and creative thinker. She works with entrepreneurs providing professional writing services including: web copy, newsletters, guest and ghost blogging and long letter copywriting. She is also a speaker on the subjects of time management, writing and productivity. “Helping entrepreneurs find the ‘write’ words!” 

22 January
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Seven Steps To A More Productive You!

You love your To-Do lists, don’t you? I know I do! I also love a schedule although I had to learn the hard way that I needed to let go of schedules and learn to live more in the moment — it was a tough lesson and one that I am still grappling with. I have, however, learned a few ways to be more productive in the allotted amount of time in my workday and I’m certain you can too. Time is money but your health is also crucial; without it, you won’t be of any use to yourself or your clients.

Here are my top seven tips to getting, and remaining, productive:

  1. Well, maybe I should. But I just don’t know… You need to make decisions more quickly. Sitting on decisions means you’re having that sitting in the back of your mind taking up valuable real estate. Don’t second guess your decisions and don’t spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over a business decision. If you find out it’s not a good fit, you can certainly change your mind, right? Of course you can. Don’t wait for an epiphany – decide now!
  2. Setting up or attending a meeting? Is there an agenda? If there isn’t, call a time out and ask for an agenda. Walking into a meeting without an agenda is a recipe for spending time unproductively and walking out feeling frustrated.
  3. Hello? Can we talk? If I don’t recognize your phone number, chances are I will not answer the phone when you call. Send me an email first as a way to introduce yourself. Too many times, business owners get bogged down on phone calls that don’t come to a resolution… see number #2… and because we simply don’t know whether we can work together.
  4. Turn off email alerts while you’re in the midst of a mentally intensive project. If you’re constantly checking emails because it sent an alert, you won’t be fully invested in the project in front of you and therefore, you won’t give it your all. If you have to, let people know that you turn your email off from the hours of 9 am and noon or between 2 and 5 pm – whenever your most productive times are. Just because you get an email doesn’t mean you need to respond right now!
  5. Speaking of emails… Don’t get bogged down in emails. You need a system that works for you for not only answering messages, but for following up and for even knowing whether you need to answer, delete or delegate the message. The system you come up with is one that will be unique to your business’s specific needs. There is no one size fits all even though there are steps that can be taken to formulate a system to prioritize messages.
  6. Take a break. You read that correctly! You need to take time to get up from the computer screen and give both your mind and your body a break. Physical and mental exhaustion can set in quickly and you need to be prepared. Staying healthy and active benefits you and your clients!
  7. Step. Away. From. The. Computer/Business. Yes, you need to completely unplug from your computer (and that means Angry Birds and Words With Friends!) and from your business at least once a week. When is the last time you took an entire day off? If you can’t remember, you need to schedule it right now. Do your clients truly expect you to be available 24/7/365? If so, you may need to sit down with them and tell them you’re going to start working “normal business hours” I’m certain they will understand.

How will you step up to the plate and be productive? What will you need to let go of to make it happen? Can you start today? I’d love to hear. 

04 December
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Turning Adversity On Its Head With Gratitude

Guest post by Robbi Hess

There are many tools that individuals and business owners have at their disposal as a way to face the day and grow a business. Did you know that one of the tools you should be using is gratitude? Gratitude is defined as “a positive emotion… one that acknowledges a benefit.” Whether you’re being grateful to a family member, colleague or business client, it’s crucial that you share that emotion. Your clients are likely grateful to you for the service that you provide, but when is the last time you told them that you were grateful to them for the opportunity?

Here are three ways in which you can express gratitude and this, being the holiday season, is the best time of year to jump start this practice:

  • “Thank you.” “I appreciate you.” These words are beneficial in both life and business. Thank a client for his business or a referral. Tell your friends and family that you appreciate what they do. Those two words — “thank you” — may be one of the best business building tools at your disposal.
  • Under promise. Over deliver. Going the extra mile is a step that will be long remembered. Show your willingness to serve and that will be long remembered.
  • Enthusiasm and positivity matter. It may not always be easy to “find the silver lining,” but if you can, it can diffuse a tense situation. Even in the bleakest of times, chances are you can find a positive if you put your mind to it. Your positivity will carry forward to friends, family and clients.

When was the last time you practiced gratitude?

Robbi Hess, Social Wordsmith, is a professional blogger, social media consultant and creative thinker. She works with entrepreneurs providing professional writing services including: writing web copy, newsletters, guest and ghost blogging and long letter copywriting. She is also a speaker on the subjects of time management, writing and productivity. “Helping entrepreneurs find the ‘write’ words!” 

22 April
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How Did It Get This Bad?

My life was falling apart. I couldn’t believe how bad it was & how quickly it seemed to happen.

I searched to find the “one bad choice” that landed me on the dark path I was on.

There wasn’t any one thing.

Simply a series of small changes that individually looked minor & harmless.

But when combined, radically altered where my life was headed.

My job, my finances, my health, my spirit & my attitude – were all a mess.

I didn’t feel like “me” any more.

I was super-stressed, eating poorly, lacking exercise, feeling isolated & sleeping very little. I’d put myself on the path to an early grave. I was beyond anxious to find a new path.

Then I discovered a big part of the problem. I was trying to control everything. In particular, related to making a career change.

“I once had a grip on everything.  It feels better to let go.

~ from the song: I’m Not Over by Carolina Liar

Change careers – I was so ready. But instead of letting it develop naturally, I set it in my mind that I must have a masters degree. Instead making the end goal (career change) the most important thing, I was totally focused on a rigid set of steps that I decided must happen first.

And I’d become so determined & focused on getting that degree that I blinded myself to all the warning signs around me.  Then one day I “woke up” & saw how bad my life had become.

A difficult decision, but I chose to leave school. Immediately my stress was reduced, I found time for exercise & improved my finances.  In turn, my sleep improved.

In hindsight, one of the best decisions I ever made.

I can’t recall the author’s name, but I once read a book that talked about the importance of “choosing the hard no”.  My hard no was dropping school & having faith that the needed events & people would appear in my life when the time was right.

And that is just what happened.

My life fell apart in 2007/2008. In 2009, I got back on the right path. And in 2010, I attended two life-changing seminars (by Barbara Sher).  Those seminars solidified that I was making the right career change & significantly shaped the way I do business today. In 2011 I launched my business full-time.

It’s easy to seen now that I was trying to control everything out of fear. In this case, my level of adversity had to red-line before I was able to learn the lesson.

The lesson…  don’t get so locked into a way of thinking that you miss what’s going on around you.  Instead, pay attention, have faith, let go, & deal with fear in the right way.  We all arrive where we need to, but we can’t always choose the route.

Bob

 

 

19 February
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It’s Worse Than Adversity

“… how we think and how we respond has a far greater capacity to destroy our lives than any challenges we face.”

~ The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn

Think about this quote for a minute.  It has strong implications.

We have very little control over what adversity comes into our lives.

But we do have control over how we think and act. The key take-away:

Where you go in life depends much more on your thoughts & attitude than on what troubles come into your life.

Have you looked at your thoughts & attitude lately to make sure they’re where they need to be for you to succeed?

Bob

 

10 July
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Know When to Surrender

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”  ~Gail Sheehy

In my last post I wrote about getting up after getting knocked down.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

With my last post being about persistence, I thought I’d switch it up and write about surrender.  The real question is: When is it ok to surrender?

I see 4 times when surrender is appropriate:

1) You’re fighting back emotions.

A couple of ways this manifests itself – getting angry over small issues or holding back tears.  I can speak from personal experience that holding in emotions isn’t good.  When I was 9 years old, my father died suddenly.  That was an era of “be a big boy, don’t cry”.  So, I never really grieved completely until I got divorced 20+ years later.   Holding in tears that long made my recovery much longer and more difficult.

2) Something you resist keeps reappearing in your life.

The issue is being presented to you again for a reason.  It is time to stop resisting and let it into your life.   Some years ago I was traveling and the person next to me on the plane started talking about The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.  She encouraged me to read it.  I listened intently, but actually forgot about the book until a few months later.  At that time I met someone who practically begged me to read the book.  I got the book and loved it.  In fact reading that book helped me rediscover my love of reading and that has been instrumental in positive changes in my life and my career.

3) You try to control everything.

There are times when control is important and needed.  For example, traffic laws or safety regulations for operating machinery.  However, control has become such a part of our society, that many people don’t even realize how controlling they are.  Daniel A. Miller wrote an excellent book on control: Losing Control, Finding Serenity.  You can read an excerpt of the book here.

4) You feel overwhelmed.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • My to-do list just gets longer and longer
  • To get caught up I often get less sleep than I need
  • The harder I work the farther behind I get

If any of these are familiar to you, then stop and examine what you need to release from your life.

I’d also recommend you read The Dip by Seth Godin.  Seth does a wonderful job of talking about when to quit something and when to stick with it.

What are your thoughts on surrender?

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 January
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Slip, sliding away

Tonight after work I scraped the ice off my car windows.  The roads were a bit slick from light snow and freezing rain.  Overall, though, they weren’t too bad.

One of the last turns before I got home I found one of the slicker spots.   As I was turning and braking, I started to slide a bit.  Instead of reacting the way I normally would, I got spooked a bit and pushed on the brakes harder.  This just continued the slide.  Thankfully, I quickly realized that I should lighten up on the brakes instead.  I did and my car was easily under my control once again.

Well, there isn’t much adversity here.  But, I discovered a worthwhile lesson through this experience.  So that’s why I decided this was worth posting.

Isn’t it funny how most of us try to control our lives by pushing harder…just like I did with the brakes of my car?   Often times, lessening the control (or pressure) will give you more control.

Control and Learning don’t usually mix very well.  ~ Judy Rosenblum

Let me know what you think in the comment section.