Jun 112021
 

It’s all too easy to get distracted or not pay attention to what you’re doing. When you do, you make mistakes and miss details that you need. Learning how to be more focused is important if you want to achieve your goals. Learn 3 simple steps to being more mindful that will improve your productivity and your life.

Transcript:

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach for small business and entrepreneurs, and would like to share a tip on how you can become more focused, mindful and get more out of your life.

Last week, I was cooking a chicken dish that had an accompanying sauce. I minced some garlic for the chicken, and then another couple of large cloves for the sauce. I got distracted while I was cooking, and accidentally threw the garlic for the sauce in with the chicken, in addition to what was already there. Wow, was that a lot of garlic! It was almost overpowering. I thought I’d ruined the dish.

Have you ever been thinking of something else, and then made a mistake, like I did? Or been distracted when you’re talking with a friend or colleague and miss something important they said? This comes from your attention being diverted elsewhere and not being aware of what’s going on in the present.

In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to pay attention to what’s going on in the moment. But being able to focus on what you’re doing, or listening fully,  will mean that you are more efficient, more effective and will have better relationships, both personally and professionally.

There’s a simple way to bring your attention to the present, and stay mindful about what’s going on.

Your mindset tip has 3 steps to it:

  1. Become aware of what you’re doing, such as having a conversation or preparing a meal.
  2. Take a long, slow deep breath to slow your mind down and get focused on your priority.
  3. Decide what your intention is, and then act. It may be taking an action, or it may be listening fully.

This shifts your energy from being scattered and distracted to being focused and intentional. If I’d just followed my own advice last week, I wouldn’t have had a meal that I came close to ruining. As you practice these steps, notice how much more you accomplish and how much better you feel.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com.

Thank you for watching. Remember, become aware, breathe, and then act. Take care.

Read the accompanying article, How to Take Back Control When Stress Overwhelms You.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jun 032021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Stress and Overwhelm

Life can sometimes unexpectedly speed up and come at you fast. Suddenly, you have a cluster of challenging events to deal with. It could be a major health issue with the upheaval of all the medical appointments to schedule around. Or it could be several expensive home repairs at an inconvenient time (is there ever a convenient time for expensive repairs?). Or you may be trying to juggle extra work with family demands.

Any kind of turmoil like this can cause stress and feelings of overwhelm. You feel like life has spun out of control and you have no stability. Your mind narrows its focus and you start reacting from old habits that may not be helpful in the present situation. This also creates static with your connection to the Universe. It makes it harder to access your intuition and Divine Guidance. With your attention focused on immediate concerns, you can’t notice potential solutions.

Take Back Control

While it’s important to have your vision in mind, in times of overwhelm, your vision can be beyond your ability to consider. You have to find some equilibrium first. To get back into balance, there are some things to do, and not do.

Don’t multi-task. This just makes the situation worse. When you multi-task, you’re quickly switching your attention from one task to another, and that increases the stress hormones. You may feel like you’re being productive, but you don’t accomplish much, which just increases your feelings of frustration.

Slow down. Give yourself time to think and assess the situation. Ask yourself, “What are my options?” This allows you to stop reacting and being impulsive, and instead encourages you to make better choices and decisions. 

Focus on one thing at a time. You’ll be able to reclaim a sense of control. Wash the dishes. Do the laundry. Make that call you’ve been procrastinating. Once you’ve done one task, move on to the next. Stay mindful about what you want to accomplish and take it one tiny step at a time.

It’s all about being mindful, and creating an island of calm in the present, while re-establishing your connection to the Universe. Once you’ve taken charge and lowered your stress level, your mind can think more clearly. You won’t feel as pressured and can open your mind to handle a bit more. By re-establishing a sense of stability, you’ll have more resources at your disposal and be able to expand your horizons once again.

Affirmation:

I’m always connected with the Universe, and being guided and directed. When life gets hectic, I quiet my mind, slow down and assess what my best option might be. I focus on my next step, allowing my mind to become organized and clear. Peace and serenity flow through me and all things work out in the best way possible for my highest good.

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Jun 022021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Steps to Success

Over the past couple of years, Robin gained 30 pounds. Looking back to see what had created the extra weight, she realized she’d begun a new job two years ago that had included donuts in the break room. Every day, she’d grab one or two of them. Because of the unconscious habit she’d developed, eating more calories than normal, she’d gained an unwelcome amount of weight.

Have you ever noticed that when you do something over and over, it not only becomes a habit, but it has a certain outcome? This may be a goal you want for yourself, such as a healthier lifestyle. Or you may receive a result that you didn’t want, like gaining weight, as Robin did. But when you consistently take the same actions, you’re going to reap the rewards or the consequences of what you’re doing.

For instance, Carol got into credit card debt by not paying off her balance at the end of each month. Instead, she’d regularly let $50-$100 dollars pile up each cycle because she didn’t have the extra money to apply to it. Carol didn’t realize that each month she was spending more than she made.  

The same idea happens to smokers. Earl didn’t start out smoking 2 packs a day. His smoking increased slowly as he associated more and more situations and activities with a cigarette. When any of these circumstances surfaced during the day, he’d reach for another hit of tobacco. Eventually, he built up to his 2 pack a day habit.

Each of these examples didn’t get to an overwhelming level overnight. It took a constant series of the same actions over a period of time that changed a little problem into a big one. There are many other challenges that are like these: personal, professional, lifestyle, financial, and health. Big problems don’t form in an instant. They build up slowly over time as you perform one action on top of another to create a habit that results in your challenge.

What You Need to Be Able to Change

If you want to change the problem, you’ll need consistency and discipline to do so. Just as the problem built up one decision and action at a time, you’ll need to take one step at a time to undo it. You’ve had the issue for a long time. It won’t be undone in a few days.

The solution is the same as what created your problem. Success comes from taking a specific action over and over again. Take small consistent steps that chip away at the issue. It’s like turning a car around in a narrow road. You have to back up and pull forward a number of times before you can go in the opposite direction.

The same is true of making these changes. It may take a few months, a year, or even several years to get to your goal. But if you don’t make the changes, your problem will continue to grow.  

Whatever goal you desire, choose sustainable actions you can take that will move you in that direction. When you do, think of the outcome that you’re aiming for. This will help to keep you motivated, even when the results are slow in coming.

Why Consistency Is Important

Your choices and behaviors communicate to your subconscious that you are willing to do what’s necessary to achieve your goal. Consistency means there aren’t any mixed messages impressing your subconscious. As long as you’re true to moving in the new direction, the Law of Attraction will begin to draw whatever you need to fulfill your mission.

For instance, the way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you expend each day and include regular exercise. If you want to pay off debt, reduce expenditures each month and apply that money to pay down your credit cards or other debts. To increase your business, create a plan to consistently reach more people through networking and marketing. If building your savings is your goal, commit to putting a minimum amount of money in that account each month.

For greater peace of mind, meditate every day. Using affirmations each day will impress your subconscious to make an improvement in your life. To move towards your goal, you have to focus on where you want go and decide to move in that direction.

Consistent actions created the life you have now, and consistent actions will create the new life you want. When you’re persistent in making decisions that result in different behaviors, then you’ll receive the new outcomes that you want. Choose your goal, create the steps to get there, and then take them one at a time. The journey to your future begins with the steps you take each day. Consistency is the key to your success.  

Affirmation:

When I’m consistent in my thoughts, decisions and actions, I communicate what I want clearly to my subconscious and the Universe. Every action I take leads to greater success and fulfillment. The Universe completely supports my endeavors. I am Divinely Guided in my choices and direction.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
May 072021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Mindfully smelling a flower

Several years ago, I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch. She visited our area infrequently on business, and when she did, we tried to get together to catch up. The week she was in the area, I had a full schedule of clients. But I’d set aside over an hour to spend with her and looked forward to our conversation.

Shortly after she arrived, she got a call on her cell phone from another friend. Instead of telling the person she’d call them back, she chatted with them for most of the hour. She ended the call shortly before I had to get back to my office. Once she realized that she’d wasted our time together, she was contrite. Disappointed that I had to leave, she tried to convince me to stay. I couldn’t reschedule my clients on such short notice, and had to leave.

Instead of being in the present, she’d automatically answered the phone, and remained on the call without considering the consequences. Have you ever done that, or had it done to you? How often are you absent in the moment, simply reacting or taking an action without thinking it through?

Mindfulness vs. Habits

It’s been estimated that 95% of the time we act out of habit, like my friend did. Her phone rang; she answered it on autopilot, and stayed on the call. Instead of being mindful, she was mindless in that moment. Habits are useful. They can help our minds problem solve and assess information. But they’re not helpful when they take over your decision making process.

Situations like this crop up all the time. Instead of working on your project, you answer each call, text or email as it comes in. The notification triggers you to deal with the immediate distraction, rather than staying focused on your task, which is more important. Or you accept that piece of cake you’re offered without considering your diet. Paying attention to what you’re doing, and want to be doing, helps you accomplish more of your priorities.

Benefits of Mindfulness

You can’t be mindful all the time. Letting your mind wander occasionally opens you to creativity and innovation. But to fulfill your potential, there needs to be a balance between dreaming and being consciously aware of what you’re doing and thinking.

Choosing to be more mentally present in your life has numerous benefits. Your relationships improve, you make fewer mistakes, are less stressed, make better decisions, have more constructive habits, improved communication, reach goals more quickly, and are more efficient, effective and productive.

Practice Being Present

To use mindfulness to improve your life, practice the following steps:

  1. Be in the present. Let go of the past, and ignore the future for a while. You can address the future a bit later. For the moment, pay attention to what’s going on right now. Who are you with, and what are they saying? What do you need to be doing? This will allow you to be more effective in your life.
  2. Accept what is. We all have expectations of how we want life to be. But that attitude is counter-productive. Instead of resisting reality, wanting a situation to be different and resenting that it’s not that way, accept the facts. Only then can you begin to rationally deal with the situation and find a better outcome.
  3. Respond intentionally. It’s natural to want to react when you’re stressed and lash out when you’re upset. But it will only cause more harm. Don’t let stress trigger you into going on autopilot or let anger control you. When you’re distressed, be aware of your thoughts and feelings about what’s going on. Whether you’re stressed or angry, when you have to choose a course of action, consider your options and and decide the best way to respond.
  4. Focus on your steps. It’s important to plan for the future, but also important to focus on the current steps you need to take to get there. Keep in mind why your goal is important to you. But instead of being overwhelmed by how far you have to go to achieve your goal, just work on the next step.

You can only impact this moment. The past is over, and the future is yet to be. When you are mindful about the present, then you’re making wise decisions and taking actions that will bring you a much better today and tomorrow.

Affirmation:

I practice being present in my life. The Universe guides and directs my attention and actions. When I accept the reality of the moment, I can decide how to handle it for my Highest Good. I choose my responses wisely, by consciously considering my options and taking action on the one that is best for the situation. Each moment builds on the one before, and by being mindful, I create a wonderful future.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Apr 192021
 

Susan Jeffreys is a life coach I met through a networking group we both belong to. Oddly enough, we met because most outside contact has gone virtual in this past year because of COVID-19. If not for that, we probably would not have met, because she belongs to one chapter and I belong to another. But we were able to virtually visit each other’s group.

Susan’s coaching specialty is helping people recognize and nurture  their courage so they can take their next step in their business or life. One day, as we were talking one-on-one about how change requires courage, Suki invited me onto her podcast, Courage Rises.

She’d been interviewing people about their personal stories of courage, but wanted to do something different. We decided to discuss how change takes courage, and some of the obstacles and stages that a person goes through as they’re changing. It’s a subject dear to my heart, as change is what I’ve helped people with for over thirty years.

We had a lively and interesting conversation about how courage affects the choices and changes we make in our lives. She commented later that, “You have a way of describing feelings and resultant actions that I really like.”

We chatted how change is a process, with several different components that people may not be prepared for. She had some great insights about the points we covered and talked about her experience letting go of a long-standing habit.

We discussed what happens when someone starts utilizing their courage and start changing. And I gave some suggestions on how a person can exercise their courage so they can stretch that ability. We ended with my personal story about courage, and how, as a young child, I had to cultivate that quality.

She is passionate about helping others understand that courage is within everyone. Her caring and compassion shines through her, and wraps people in warmth. I consider this a silver lining to the COVID-19 isolating, in that it gave me a chance to meet and get to know this awesome lady.

I hope you enjoy this interview on how change takes courage and find new ways to cultivate courage in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Mar 152021
 
Sparks of Insight

“An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so.” – Shakti Gawain

Affirmations are dynamic statements that are designed to align your mindset with what is true at a spiritual level. If they were not real, then you could not have even considered the possibility. Affirmations don’t change the mind of the Universe to give you something you don’t already have. They work to change your mind to accept what the Universe has already given you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Overcome the Obstacles to Your Goal

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Mar 152021
 

The path to achieving a goal is rarely smooth. There are generally obstacles that you have to overcome. Many of those barriers are self-inflicted and some aren’t. Instead of letting those blocks trip you up, use this tip to overcome them and accomplish your goal much more easily.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. When you set a goal, there are always going to be obstacles to it, right? I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach. I’d like to share a tip on how to overcome obstacles when you’re working towards a goal or vision. 

There are obstacles that come from within you, like procrastination or getting distracted easily. Some obstacles come from outside, like a coworker interrupting you or the cake at the party tempting you to ditch your diet.

And there are some obstacles that are a combination of inner and outer, like answering your phone even if it rings in the middle of an important meeting.

You can identify many of these obstacles ahead of time, can’t you? You’ve been in the situation before, so know your habits and tendencies. Since you’re aware of what barriers could trip you up, you can figure out how to handle them before they happen. You can plan for how you’re going to avoid them or react to them when they occur.

Here’s your tip. Make a list of those challenges, the conditions that slow you down or drag you off course. Then strategize how you could handle them in that moment. For instance, for procrastination, you could decide to take one small step, to break your immobility and get you moving. Or before a meeting, you could decide to put your phone on mute.

When you plan for how you’re going to respond to a particular situation, ahead of time, you’re being proactive. That way, you’re not having to figure out what to do in the moment, when you’re pressured. The decision has been made before hand, and you’re just executing the strategy you’ve already chosen.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. What obstacles are you going to overcome today?

Read the accompanying article, Don’t Slow Before the Finish Line.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart 

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 092021
 

How to make friends with stress by Shamash Alidina

Stress is a complicated topic. A little bit of stress is good for you, too much is bad for you, and your attitude about it affects how it impacts you. Use the mindfulness exercise in this article to reframe how you view stress, and change the experience to be more positive.

The Trap of Emotional Nonacceptance

Does your inner critic take you to task when you feel an unpleasant emotion? The distressing¬† emotion doesn’t feel good to begin with, and the inner criticism makes it worse. Instead of fighting those undesirable emotions, use the steps in this article to start feeling better.

Types of Stress and Stress Relief Techniques For Each

There are so many different ways to relieve stress that it can sometimes be difficult to find the best technique for your personality and situation. However, it’s well worth the effort to find the right stress reliever for you. This list of stress management techniques are grouped in 4 ¬†categories that you may encounter in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Don’t Slow Before the Finish Line

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Mar 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I don’t watch much sports, but my husband and I do enjoy the summer and winter Olympics. Over the years, I’ve noticed something interesting about many athletes who are in speed contests. Whether they’re runners, ice skaters or cyclists, when they’re in a race, they often ease up as they approach the finish line. Sometimes the front runner, who has slowed down, is passed by another athlete who has kept up their pace until after they’ve crossed the finish line.

This isn’t just true about athletes. It’s also true in any kind of goal achievement. The same problem affects changing a habit or achieving a sales target. Do you have the finish line in sight and slow down or stop your efforts? Often, when someone is about to accomplish a goal, whether personal or professional, they sabotage their attempt. They’ll stop putting energy towards the goal, try to coast across the line, stop just short of it, or abandon it completely just before they’ve reached their objective. If you do this, you restrict the amount of abundance from the Universe.

Some Reasons You Hold Yourself Back (and what to do about them)

There are a variety of reasons for this kind of self-sabotage. Here are a three of them, and suggestions to maintain your progress until you’ve accomplished your goal.

Fear of success. You hold yourself back because you’re afraid of what success would bring, such as extra responsibility, criticism or envy of others. As long as you fall short of your aim, you avoid the potential consequences. For instance, you work on a project, but as you approach completion, you get distracted. Or you procrastinate finishing, because it’s not perfect. If you turn in a less than stellar result, you can use it as an excuse for not getting that promotion.

If you’re concerned about extra responsibility, take some extra training so you can deal with the additional authority. And you aren’t responsible for how someone else reacts to your success. Don’t take it personally. You are simply their latest scapegoat for their own insecurities. Just focus on doing your work to the best of your ability and take pride in that. The Universe supports you and will provide whatever help you need to deal with your concerns.

You overreach. You set a goal that is more than what you actually want. For instance, you state you want to lose twenty pounds, when your actual intention is to lose fifteen. The issue is that your subconscious knows your actual goal. You can’t fool it. Your subconscious will support you to your true target, but not any farther. That means that as you approach your desired weight, you start eating foods that aren’t on your diet. You indulge in some snack chips, then a cupcake, and your weight reduction grinds to a halt near your internal desire.

To remedy this, remember that your goal is an artificial ideal. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, shift your attention to the process that’s getting you there. In this case, your attention would be on eating healthier foods, in smaller amounts, and getting more exercise. Small servings of desserts would only be for special occasions. Your reduced weight is then the outcome of your lifestyle shift.

This can be true of sales goals, as well. Spend more time concentrating on your daily task of creating and contacting leads instead of your eventual sales. Your process will result in with more sales than aiming at a target, though the target is helpful to keep you going in the right direction. Your goal tells the Universe what you want. Your job is to follow through with your process and the Universe will provide the result.

Stay in your comfort zone. You’ve set a goal that you’re comfortable achieving. You have confidence that you can reach your aspiration without much difficulty. It doesn’t stretch you and you just go through the motions to accomplish it. Once you do, you feel so good that you repeat the process so you can feel uplifted again. But you stay in the same place and don’t improve.

Stop limiting yourself. Open your mind to the abundance of the Universe. It is safe to accept more good. If you’re not expanding out of your comfort zone, that zone will shrink and it will be harder to maintain your current level of performance. Motivational gurus and coaches encourage people to choose a goal that scares them. This allows you to grow, learn and gain more confidence as you progress. What objective would make you feel a little intimidated and uncomfortable? Start taking steps, baby ones if need be, and accept the fear.

Focus on Your Steps

If you undermine your progress when approaching your goal, stop thinking about the end result. Instead, focus on the steps of your plan and your procedure for moving forward. When you accomplish one step, tackle the next one. That way, you won’t be as intimidated or concerned about where you are in relation to the finish line. And who knows, you might exceed your goal and reach the stars.  

Affirmation:

The Universe wants the best for you and supports you in all your endeavors. Whatever you need to achieve your goal is provided. You’re Divinely Guided in your direction and activities. As you take the steps necessary, the Universe takes care of the result.

Watch the accompanying video, Overcome the Obstacles to Your Goal.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Deal with thoughts during meditation?

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Mar 032021
 
Question about affirmations

Question: How do I deal with overwhelming thoughts when I’m trying to meditate?

Answer: It’s normal to have problems with thoughts distracting you during meditation. It happens to those first starting meditation as well as seasoned meditators. It’s one reason why there are so many meditation techniques that use some sort of focus, like a mantra or staring at a candle.

When I use self-hypnosis at the beginning of a meditation, I go deeper than with any other technique. And because you’re focusing on relaxing your body, counting down and then imagining a special place, it helps to calm down the errant thoughts. However, it is a constant practice to keep them calm and not let them distract you.

Whenever you have a thought try to get your attention, bring your focus back to your special place, affirmation or any visualization you’re using. You’re in the process of training your mind. Letting it know that you’re going to take charge. Once you’ve practiced enough to get the thoughts quieter, the next step is to be able to simply observe them and let them go.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart