Nov 302017
 

GC-S.KaibabTr-OohAah-sm-08883 Questions to Wake Up and Stop Living on Autopilot
At times, it’s helpful to coast through the day. It allows your mind to wander and be creative. But when you’re living on autopilot, you’re simply reacting to situations without thinking them through. And this will only dig you into a hole. Here are some ideas to help you climb out and start living intentionally again.

There’s even more evidence that one type of exercise is the closest thing we have to a miracle drug
Studies have shown that exercise can not only reduce depression, it can improve cognition and memory. Exercise is the closest thing to a Fountain of Youth that we have. Now, there’ more evidence about the best kind of exercise to keep us healthy and alert. And you don’t have to participate in it as long as was thought to start receiving benefits. Discover what kind of exercise this is.

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Find
Significant evidence suggests that meditation and mindfulness change the function and structure of the brain, as well as our behavior and moods. But now, research is showing how different types of meditation affect different parts of the brain. They tested 3 different kinds of meditation. In just 3 months, scans found differences in brain structure and the participant’s experience.

Nov 172017
 

GC-S.KaibabTr-OohAah-sm-0888Personality Traits & Personality Types: What is Personality?
There are a lot of personality assessments out there. They all will give you some insight in to the kind of person you are and the way you respond to situations. But psychologists are shifting their focus to main personality traits: introversion/extroversion, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. These give an indication of how successful you’ll be in life.

Negativity Be Gone: New Online Tool Can Retrain Brain
Researchers have developed a new online brain training program that can help reduce anxiety and depression. This new program aim to shift the rigid, negative thoughts that come with anxiety and depression. It’s designed to teach users to develop a new style of thinking. In the article, there’s a link to the free online program.

Is this Japanese concept the secret to a long, happy, meaningful life?
Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “reason for living.” It incorporates the answers to four questions and the intersections between them. It’s a practical and pragmatic way to view life, and can increase your desire to get up in the morning.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Nov 092017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Over 90% of your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ruled by habits. Those habits were formed from what you focused on, and the actions you took over and over again. They dug a groove in your psyche, and when triggered, you react automatically.

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Some of those habits are beneficial, such as brushing your teeth or sending a thank you card for a referral. But many of them don’t support where you want to go in life. They actually undermine it. Your negative habits developed at a time when they were helpful, but they’ve outlived their usefulness. They’re so automatic that you may not even realize that they’re no longer suitable.

They may be habits that you’ve just fallen into because of laziness or not being aware of the effects they would have on your future. Habits have cumulative effects, either beneficial or detrimental, that don’t show up until later in life. And they will shape your future.

For instance, do you exercise? Over the years, not exercising negatively impacts the quality and quantity of your health. You’ll get weaker as you age, have problems with balance, and not be able to walk very far. But I know people in their 80’s who still hike several miles every week because they’ve stayed in shape. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and reduces the incidence of many diseases. Cultivate this habit for a better, healthier life.

The habitual tendency of pessimism or optimism builds up over time. Either way, it affects the quality of your relationships, as well as your success in life. In my youth, I knew a young man who enjoyed putting others down. He considered it a game. Years later, as a mature adult, he verbally attacked others in cruel and malicious ways. That habit escalated over the years to its present level. It’s cost him jobs, friends and loved ones, but this habit is so ingrained in him that he sees no reason to change.

Do you procrastinate? That habit probably formed early in life. Although it might have been helpful then, it’s not now. For instance, chronically putting off paying your credit card won’t help your pocket book because of late charges. Needing to have the latest phone or gadget won’t benefit your bottom line either. You could have had a nice nest egg if you’d invested that wasted money.

For example, in the stop smoking classes I facilitated, participants were encouraged to save the money they used to spend on cigarettes. They put it into a jar to save for a specific goal. Within 18 months of starting that habit, one couple was able to take the cruise they’d always dreamed of. That money accumulated quickly to bring their dream to reality.

Do you want less stress and anxiety? Become aware of habits that promote those feelings. Small issues can be the worst contributors. For instance, where do you put your keys when you come in the door? Do you put them in one specific place, like on a hook or in a bowl, or do you drop them in random places? How much time do you waste looking for them when you need to leave? Are you ever late for work or an appointment as a result? What kind of impression does your tardiness make on others? That one small habit could mean a lost opportunity or promotion.

It all comes down to your habits. Are your habits supporting your path or sabotaging it? Your habits create your destiny by the thoughts you think and the choices you make on a day to day basis. If you want a different outcome, you’ll have to start making different choices.

Your first step would be to decide on the result you want. Do you want less stress, more joy, to be healthier, or more successful? It must be something you really want and are willing to work towards. Your subconscious doesn’t like change. Your motivation must be stronger than the natural inclination to fall back into the old groove.

Your second step is to decide what habits have to be in place to support your dream. For better health, you’d need to make better food choices and exercise more. To be more productive at work, determine what tasks you need to focus on to reach your goals.

Your third step would be to become aware of the habits that are interfering with your chosen result. They may be small, insignificant ones. Such as always checking your email as soon as you get to work and letting them sidetrack you from your priorities. Or chronically waiting until the last minute to get gas and either running out or running late.

The fourth step is to commit to substituting the new habit for the old one, each and every time. Habits aren’t easy to break. You have to stay aware of what you’re doing whenever you’re in that situation, and make a different choice. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

When you create habits that support what you want, you’re changing the course of your life. It will take persistence and determination to do so, but your future is worth it. Your habits determine your destiny. Make it a good one.

Affirmation:
I now decide what it is I want in my life. I realize that I deserve to have a better future. The Universe always wants for me what I want for myself. Everything I need to support my choice now appears. As I make the choice to change, all levels of my mind align to strengthen my resolve.

Watch the accompanying video, Better Habits Make for a Better Life.

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. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
Nov 022017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I used to create a long to-do list that would have been impossible to finish in three times the allotted period. Not only did I constantly overestimate my capacity to complete my list, I would underestimate the time the tasks would take. In addition, I’d have several creative projects under development at once. I’d dart between them, working on one then the other. None of them got any quality or quantity of my attention. As a result, I always felt like I was falling behind. And I was. I felt stressed and my to-do list consumed my thoughts.

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Do you have this problem? In today’s world, most people take on too much. People try to compensate by multitasking in an attempt to get more done. But multitasking for increased productivity is an illusion. In actuality, less gets done. Research shows it’s an inefficient use of time and mental resources. It failed massively when I tried to work on several projects at once. But because we’re overwhelmed with everything we have to do, we grasp at straws. And those straws won’t keep us afloat.

Being overwhelmed means that you’re stressed all the time. When you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly and your productivity drops. Because you’re distracted by what’s stressing you, your decision making ability is diminished. All your resources are being used to deal with what’s going on right now. You’re in a fight or flight mode, just trying to survive. Haven’t you felt like this? It means you’re reacting to circumstances, rather than being proactive, innovative and creative about how to get things done. Overall, you have less emotional resources to deal with life’s issues. You’re just trying to tread water and progress floats away.

Overwhelm, and the stress it causes, impairs spiritual progress. Think of your mind as a glass that filled to the brim and overflowing. It doesn’t have room to add anything more. Your subconscious is simply handling too much and you can’t address anything else. You can’t focus, because your attention is split into so many different directions. And without focus, the Law of Attraction can’t work effectively. Stress and overwhelm means you’re out of alignment with inner peace.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll have to concentrate on implementing these strategies, because it’s all too easy to get dragged back into the old pattern.

1. Distinguish between what’s immediate and what’s important. The immediate would be a coworker calling you for advice. They have your attention right now, but you could actually call them back later. Something important would be working on the report that’s under a tight deadline. Put off the immediate until after you deal with what’s important.

2. Eliminate what’s not working. What chores or tasks aren’t actually necessary? What’s keeping you from working on what’s truly important? Certain chores may have become a habit, but aren’t helping you anymore. For instance, we all need to check our email periodically. But if you have it open all day, it’ll lure you away from your important projects and to check it frequently. Instead, check it only three times a day.

3. Create a strategy to make sure you don’t get overloaded.
This could be cutting back on your to-do list (like I did). Or you could set a timer to deal with email, easy tasks or a project. Delegate what you can. Don’t micromanage others. These all mean that you have to let go of some control.

4. Focus on one thing at a time.
This is the opposite of multitasking. When I began to focus on one project at a time, I was able to complete it much faster. It doesn’t mean that you have to focus on one project or task and do it to completion. It means that when you’re working on it, you eliminate all distractions and it’s all you pay attention to.

5. Schedule things. For an ongoing project, set aside 60-90 minutes at a time to focus on it. Keep that appointment with yourself. With all other tasks, put them in your calendar and expect them to take twice as long as you expect. That way you have plenty of time to work on them, and if you finish early, you may actually have time to fit in others.

6. Take time for self-care and self-development. When I was overwhelmed, meditation and self-development were the first things I abandoned. Referring back to #1, this item would be something classified as important. Not only will self-care reduce your stress, but it will give you mental and emotional resources to handle your tasks better. Meditation, reading, exercise, taking bubble baths all contribute to your spiritual progress and peace of mind.

Over time, I learned to reduce my to-do list to a few items. I would include a few extra each week, in case I actually had time to work on them. But if I didn’t, I moved them to the following week. I never got everything done. No one ever does. We’re all human beings, not human doings. Reduce your load so you can cultivate more ease, peace and happiness.

Affirmation:

I am Divinely guided to make wise decisions in taking care of myself and my life. I release what doesn’t contribute to my life’s purpose and peace. And I accept things that contribute to my purpose and peace. That means that I take care of what’s important, including myself. When I do, I open the way for more abundance and joy to come into my life.

Watch the accompanying video, Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm.

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. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
Oct 262017
 

GC-RimTrail-sm-09237 Incredible Techniques to Easily Solve the Root of Any Problem
Everyone has bad habits, and makes the same mistakes over and over. Generally, we treat the symptoms and play whack-a-mole with them. To solve your problems, you need to find out what’s causing them and be proactive. Here are several time tested solutions to get to the why.

Five Habits Of Controlling People
Controlling people are those who need others to behave and respond in the ways they want them to. As a matter of fact, they insist on it. Learning how to determine when someone is trying to control you is important for your well being. Here are some of the ways they try to control you so you can recognize what’s happening.

10 Questions to Help You Cultivate Authentic Grit
Grit enables you to pursue goals, even when the going gets tough. Authentic grit, according to the author, also inspires and motivates others. This quality can be cultivated if you want something badly enough. The questions he offers help you to determine what’s important enough to you to persist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Oct 062017
 

Step Through WoodsCan You Have More Willpower?
Most people think that you don’t have any control over how much willpower you have. You’re either born with it or you’re not. But recent research debunks that myth. Instead, studies find that it’s more like a muscle that gets better with exercise. Willpower helps you be able to fulfill more of your goals and potential. Learn 3 approaches to learn how to do increase your use of this valuable trait.

5 Reasonable Ways To Be Optimistic
Optimists aren’t born that way, they learn this perspective over time. Research shows that optimists are healthier, more successful and more resourceful. You always have a choice of what to think, and this impacts how you feel. Learn some simple ways to practice being more optimistic and reap the benefits that brings.

The Power of Mind Map: Get More Things Done & Make Creativity Easy
The concept behind this idea has been around for decades. It’s one that allows you to access more of your creativity and innovation. You can identify more of what needs to be done and in what order. This article gives some step by step directions on how to utilize this valuable technique.

Are You Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

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Oct 052017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Action without planning is the cause of every failure.” Alec Mackenzie, time management expert

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Last year, my husband and I hiked a mile-and-a-half down the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. We planned and trained for almost a year. When the day arrived, we had the right boots and equipment, and enough food and water to sustain us. Unfortunately, many people on the trail hadn’t had the same foresight.

There are warnings all over the park and at the trailhead about how much water a hiker needs. But sadly, many hikers we saw took only a fraction of the water they needed. We witnessed several people in distress due to dehydration: weak, tired or dizzy. A family fought over their child’s small bottle of water, because they’d already drunk their allotment. Two women hiked the dirt and rock trail, that was hundreds of feet above the canyon floor, in high heels. One turned ankle in the wrong place could have been disastrous.

These visitors let their enthusiasm overrun their common sense. Instead of thinking ahead, they impetuously jumped into an experience and suffered for it. Fortunately, most Grand Canyon visitors survive with just blisters, sore muscles and a headache from dehydration. But they could have avoided those consequences if they’d just heeded the warnings and considered what they’d need for a safe hike.

Unfortunately, many people act in a similar way when they get an idea. They leap into action before they even know what to do. In our Western culture, action is idolized. Supposedly, if you just take action, any action, you’ll be successful. Action is considered a panacea and always brings you results, so the thought goes. But how many people do you know who are so busy that they barely have a personal life, but they’re not achieving their goals?

Some people want to let the Universe guide their way. They don’t have any direction, and just react to whatever shows up in their path. In this case, the Universe is simply acting on their strongest desires. And those desires change from day to day. Even when you let the Universe guide you, have a vision of where you want to end up. You can always intend, “This or something better.” Then the Law of Attraction can draw what you need to manifest your greater good.

Have you ever seen a skyrocket firecracker flying through the air? It spirals all over the place because it has thrust, but no guidance system. Most of the time, it goes up to explode in a beautiful display, but there are occasions when it swirls down to the ground and sets something on fire. This is what it’s like when you jump into action before developing a plan. You’re probably going to go up, but you don’t have any control over your direction. And you also have a good chance of crashing and burning.

The same is true if you have a plan, but you don’t know where you want to end up. If you have no vision, it’s like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. You don’t know where your target is, so you waste your energy and ammunition. This happens if you have a marketing plan, before you settle on a niche. You spray the consumers with information, but because it’s not aimed properly, it’s ineffective. Instead, you need to find the right people for your product or service then spend your energy on connecting with them.

There are times when jumping into action, without a plan, can be helpful. But it has to be strategic. You want to build up some momentum, stir up some information, gain clarity or some other specific reason. Doing that is a plan in itself. You know the results you want from your actions.

Conversely, you need to keep from getting stuck in the planning process. Your plan isn’t going to ever be perfect. You’ll tweak it along the way. And there will be times when it will change completely, as you get feedback or knowledge. Making progress is better than perfecting your plan.

When you’ve decided to create something new in your life, be intentional about it. Don’t “Put the cart before the horse.” Keep your priorities straight and make sure you have some sort of plan. Life can be treacherous and catch you off guard. If you’re going for a trek in unfamiliar territory, isn’t it a good idea to heed the warnings, make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of resources to sustain you? This isn’t just good advice for the Grand Canyon, but also for every area of your life. Make sure your horse draws your cart, and you’ll make faster progress.

Affirmation:

I decide what direction I want to go in, and the Universe then lights my path. It ensures that I receive whatever I need for the fulfillment of my desire. I stay on track and take the steps I need towards my vision. Each step illumines the next one. And the Universe provides me with whatever is for my Highest Good.

Watch the complementary video Think Before You Leap.

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. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

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Sep 212017
 

Grand Canyon Train TracksAre Our Workplaces Getting Ruder?
Rudeness, disrespect or insensitive behavior at work affects job performance in a major way, and its incidence is increasing. It harms your relationships and your mental and physical health. But incivility doesn’t just impact us at work. We experience it in our private lives, too. This article gives 4 suggestions on how to deal with the issue at work. But these approaches can also be used in other areas of our lives.

5 Practical Steps to Stop Procrastination for Good
If you’re a procrastinator, you tend to delay acting until a deadline is looming. Unfortunately, that generally means you do sub-par work and never live up to your potential. This article, paraphrasing a TED Talk on the subject, gives a clever metaphor for what happens in a procrastinators brain. It also gives 5 steps to derail procrastination and a link to the TED Talk the author mentions.

Three Ways to Put A Positive Spin on (Almost) Anything
We know that research has shown that being positive is good for the mind and body. But there are just times when stuff happens, and it becomes incredibly difficult. The author of this article experienced such a period. She got through it by using 3 strategies. They’re ones that I’ve used for many decades and teach my clients. They work and are proven to improve your mood and attitude in a short time.

Achieve Success through Self-Trust

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Sep 072017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Emerson-Self-trustQuote“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you know what you want? Many people don’t know what they want because they don’t trust themselves to achieve it. They’d rather not want anything than be disappointed. They distrust the validity of their own desires and doubt their judgment because of past failures.

Before you take steps towards accomplishing a dream, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities. You need to know that you can access the knowledge, develop the habits, and find the opportunities to create your goal.

What exactly is self-trust? It’s a belief in yourself, trusting that you’ll be there for yourself, that you can handle what life throws at you. It means that you’re accountable and responsible for yourself. When you’re able to depend on yourself, you have confidence that you’ll be on your side. Self-trust ensures that you’re interested in and supportive of your wellbeing.

Being able to trust yourself is the first ingredient you need to be successful in all areas of your life. Not trusting yourself means you don’t believe you’ll finish what you intend to do. Distrusting yourself undermines your relationship with yourself and everyone else, including the Universe.

In business, it’s said that “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” The same is true of your personal life. You’re attracted to those you like and trust and vice versa. Are you trustworthy enough for you to be friends or do business with? If not, how can you reach that place of inner assurance?

Self-trust doesn’t just happen. It has to be built, the same as in any relationship. When you first meet someone, you rarely trust them immediately. Over time and through experience, they have to show that they’re truthful and reliable. You develop a relationship with yourself the same way. Here are four ways in which you can start to cultivate a sense of self-trust.

1. Honor your values. Your values are principles you choose to live by. They’re standards of behavior or ideals that you uphold, like integrity, service, or family. There will be times when it’s hard to stay true to them. But if you don’t, you’ll feel inauthentic and like you’ve abandoned yourself. And you’ll sense a separation from the Universe. When you live according to your values, it builds your self-worth and self-esteem.

2. Honor yourself. Pay attention to your health and wellbeing. When you need to take care of yourself, refuse extra demands on your time. You’re as important as anyone else, and if you don’t treat yourself well, no one else will do so either. If someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do or can’t fulfill, be kind to them (and yourself) and say no. As you support your worth, you’ll develop a positive self-regard.

3. Honor your agreements and commitments. If you do consent to perform some action, follow through and fulfill it. Not doing so breaks a promise to yourself and others. And those who break promises can’t be trusted. The same is true when you agree to a condition, like not to track mud onto the carpet. Keeping appointments you make also falls under this heading. Be on time or as close to it as possible. By doing so, you’re fostering self-respect and earning the respect of others.

4. Honor your decisions. After you make a decision, stick to it, unless you get new information that affects your choice. Stop seeking others’ approval for your choices. Take responsibility for your decisions and for their consequences. Some people won’t like that you’re being autonomous, but that’s their problem. It’s your life and you make the choices based on your experiences and what’s important to you. Rely on your own authority.

Trust grows more trust, in yourself and others. When you believe in yourself, it allows for innovation, creativity, and the flexibility to change directions when needed. The more you trust yourself, the more you trust the Universe and the Law of Attraction. You’re able to let go of fear and doubt, and have faith that you live in a beneficial universe.

Affirmation:
The Universe perceives me as a worthwhile human being. It has given me everything I need to succeed, personally and professionally. It’s my responsibility to exercise the qualities It has bestowed upon me. As I advocate for myself, I feel more whole and authentic.

Watch the accompanying video Stop Fighting Yourself.

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. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

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Aug 182017
 

GC-Sunset-4-16-0742-smScience Knows the 2-Step Process for Breaking the Bad Habits Holding You Back
Habits can be hard to break. And they can be nearly impossible if you just use willpower. But there are better ways. Understand what prompts your habits and deal with them at the core. This article gives a practical strategy to break unwelcome habits and start yourself on a new road.

How to Stop Spinning Your Wheels
We all spin our wheels at some time or other. Either we get stuck in a feedback loop of being upset, or we repeat actions that don’t get us the results we want. This article focuses on the spinning we do when we’re upset, but the suggestions can also work to get us better outcomes in general.

How to to Stop Receiving Offensive Criticism
Everyone has experienced criticism (sometimes unsolicited) that goes over the line into rudeness and beyond. This article is more about how to ask for an opinion in a way that doesn’t open you up for criticism that goes too far. Learn how to ask questions to get helpful feedback and how to handle once you get it.