Oct 202021
 

Living intentionally brings better health, happiness, freedom and peace of mind. It’s not always easy to live intentionally, because you have to be pro-active or let other people or circumstances make the choice for you. Learn how making deliberate choices brings you better outcomes and the results you want.

Transcript:

Do you live intentionally? Living intentionally means that you deliberately choose a desired result and follow through to create it. It also means that you chose to live according to your values and beliefs. When you live intentionally, you’re healthier, happier, freer and more at peace. Who wouldn’t want that?

Living intentionally is not easy, because every day, your life is made up of a series of choices. You can either make a decision each time a choice arises or let that decision be made for you by other people or by circumstances. Many times, it’s easier to let other people or circumstances make the choice for you, but then you feel helpless and hopeless. And you probably won’t get the outcome you seek.

Whether or not you live intentionally is like being in a canoe in a swift running creek. Do you want to use the paddle to keep you on course or throw that paddle away and let the creek toss you about every which way? This would be the proverbial, “Up a creek without a paddle” scenario, right?

If you don’t have a paddle, which is your decision making power, your canoe might run onto rocks and be overturned and you’d be in the water. Not a good result, right? Being intentional is like using your paddle to direct your canoe through the water safely.

When you’ve chosen a result you’re willing to work towards, or to live by your values, most of your choices become easier. You discard the possibilities that lead you away from your path, and choose the ones that support the direction you want to go. You’re more focused and fulfilled. You feel empowered, motivated and in control.

How can you become more intentional with your choices today?

For more tips and articles on mindset, motivation and empowerment, please visit my blog EmpoweringYourMind.com.

Have a wonderful and intentional day.

Read the accompanying article Why You Need a Vision and Plan.

Sparks of Insight

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Aug 262021
 
Sparks of Insight

Whenever you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, practice being in the now. Don’t worry about the future, just deal with the one thing you have to do in this minute. Studies show that people who practice mindfulness have more mental, physical and emotional resources. When your mind is constantly darting around, trying to solve problems while you’re working on a project, it’s exhausting and counter-productive. Being in the moment can give your busy mind a rest and allow you to focus all your energies on what you have to do right now. When you’re done with that, you can go on to the next thing. Studies show that this can also improve your mood, memory and well-being.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Aug 092021
 

Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resiliency

Self-compassion means accepting yourself as the imperfect person that you are. It means being kinder to yourself and, as a result, being kinder and more compassionate toward others. Learn 3 key concepts to promote self-compassion and follow the instructions on how to practice a loving kindness meditation.

The Voice Inside Your Head Is Playing with You

With every situation you encounter, you interpret it through your beliefs. Often, an inner  negative voice tears you down and sabotages your efforts. However, you can learn to replace that pessimistic self-talk with  more upbeat thoughts. Use these 4 steps to recognize and counter the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

What Is Optimism?

Optimists are those who expect good things to happen, where pessimists instead predict unfavorable outcomes. Optimistic attitudes are linked to a number of benefits. There are things you can do to cultivate an optimistic attitude. Even if you’re a pessimist, you can change the way you think about situations and learn how to become an optimist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective

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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

How You Improve Your Life by Being Mindful

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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.

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

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Feb 162021
 

How Mindfulness Improves Strategic Thinking

It’s well documented that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, accept and handle difficult emotions. Now mindfulness meditation is being used to bring focus and intention into business decisions and leadership. Leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations can use three ways to help identify important ideas.

Why You Never Seem to Have Enough Time

Feeling pressed for time is more due to our own psychology of what we value and mindsets about time. When you can reframe your attitudes, you can lessen the pressure you put on yourself. Here are three scientific insights that can help create an inner shift that then eases your time crunch.

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else

To be successful, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs realized that they needed to focus on what was important. And that one mindset was vital for them to accomplish what they wanted. Learn what that lesson is, as well as 7 ways to put it to use in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Desiderata

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Feb 032021
 

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Copyright © 1927 Max Ehrmann

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Feb 012021
 

5 Ways to Stop Dwelling on Negative Thoughts

Constantly replaying negative thoughts is unproductive and can lead to depression. When you dwell on negative thoughts, they gain strength and the issue magnifies. It’s hard to break that cycle, but there are some simple tactics to shift your attention to more constructive ideas.

10 Things Incredibly Likable People Never, Ever Do (and Why You Love Them for It)

There are actions that people take that make them extremely likable. And there are attitudes they choose not to have that make them likeable. When you know what these actions and attitudes are, you can copy them and be more likeable, too.

Train Your Mind to Work Smarter

Work life is full of challenges that can drain you and create stress. Your mind can make all the difference in how you respond to your day. It’s a treasurehouse of untold resources and innovation. Why not put it to work for you? This article suggests four ways to make your work routine more mindful and productive.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Use Journaling for Mindfulness and Success

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Jan 192021
 

In today’s world, we rush ahead to the next thing, without assessing what’s worked and what hasn’t. We don’t take a step back to recognize problems and seek solutions to them. But you can use a technique that many successful entrepreneurs and business people employ. Journaling is a proven method to help you find clarity, find solutions, improve your health and your life. Learn how to start small with this practice and begin to enjoy its benefits.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. In today’s hectic pace, it’s hard to take time to be intentional, mindful and evaluate our lives, isn’t it? But there is an easy way to find clarity, engage your creative mind, discover possibilities, solve problems, encourage and motivate yourself, as well as improve your mental and physical health. It’s something that many successful entrepreneurs and business people practice. What is this tactic? It’s journaling.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach, and I’d like to share with you a way to use this technique to improve your personal and professional life. Most people are overwhelmed with the idea of journaling. They’re afraid it takes too much time. I was too, when I first started journaling several decades ago. But I decided to start small, just to form the habit.

To begin, I got a page a month desk calendar. I committed to just write one word each day, to describe the day, or what I was feeling, or something I’d done. By the end of the year, each square on that calendar was filled with sentences. The next year, I got calendar with a page a week. The year after that, I’d graduated to a page a day. Now, I use a book, put in my own dates, and write as much or as little as I want.

Journaling has helped me work out issues that were plaguing me, note my accomplishments, and learn from my experiences. It’s a time for me to reflect about the day, write any insights and what my plans might be and how they’re working.  

My tip for you is to start small, like I did. Get a journaling book and date each entry. Write one sentence per day. Just one. It could be how your day went, something awesome that happened to you, something you learned, something you want to improve, or whatever comes to mind. Then write something you’re proud of or have accomplished that day. That’s just two items.

When you get thoughts out of your head and onto paper (or into the computer, if you’re so inclined), it helps to see things more clearly and objectively. Your brain reprocesses the information in a different way.

Reflection and assessing helps you to better fulfill your potential and then move forward in a more positive and powerful way. You’ll be more intentional, mindful, and feel happier.

If you’d to achieve a 90-day goal more easily, download my free comprehensive Strategic Vision Guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You’ll receive the guide, as well as a training video that walks you through each step with tips and directions to support you in accomplishing your goal.

Thank you for watching. How can you start journaling your way to greater mindfulness and success?

Read the accompanying article, How to Become More Positive When Things Go Wrong.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart