How To Ace a Job Interview

3 Step Guide to Better Interviews

Gone are the days where you can graduate college/university and walk into a job with nothing more than your degree. Recruiters are now skimming hundreds of resumes for volunteer work, internships, additional courses, and anything else that can set you apart from the plethora of well educated individuals. While managing to land a job interview is a feat in its own, successfully getting the job is a whole new ballgame.

Trust me when I say that I have had my fair share of terrible interviews

1. Do Your Research.

So, you have managed to get an interview. Congratulations! Obviously you have the necessary skills, but now you need to learn what it is exactly that the recruiters are looking for. Lucky for you, the internet makes it easy!

  • Search the positions on linked in – know what kind of people/experience have that position
  • Research background info on the company, know their values/mission and how you could fit

2. Prepare Your Answers and Practice Out Loud

Being prepared may seem like cliche advise, however preparedness is not to be taken lightly.

  • Look up questions specific/typical to that job
  • Write down potential answers
  • Practice reading them outloud to create a more natural sound
  • Know what you’re saying and make it authentic

3. Ask Questions.

The number one thing people often forget to do is ask the recruiters questions. While you may feel as though asking questions makes you seem unprepared, recruiters see this as an opportunity to understand your interest in the position. While questions are encouraged, make sure that the questions you are asking about are meaningful and worth the time

  • Ask job specific, not general – i.e. what do you forsee as the biggest challenge?

 

 

How To Accept and Use Feedback

How to Accept and Use Feedback

Receiving feedback is never very easy, particularly when that feedback is negative. In fact, your initial reaction when it comes to receiving criticism is likely going to be defensive. Even when you know the feedback you are getting is entirely accurate, it can sometimes be difficult to accept it graciously and move on.

Learning how to rewire your reactions when it comes to receiving negative feedback is essential in learning how to use that feedback to your advantage. The first step to growing as a person is to learn where it is that you can improve. No one is perfect, and therefore nobody expects you to be.

Follow these 3 simple steps to begin accepting and utilizing feedback for your own personal benefit. As always, the audio version of this podcast can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play.

1. Pick Your Audience

You are never going to satisfy or suit everyone. Focus your efforts on the people you actually want to please. If it’s a product or idea you are selling or pitching – who is your intended consumer? Design your content for them. If it’s a work project for a specific client – design your presentation towards what they want.

Sometimes in life it is important to recognize that your opinion or idea isn’t always going to best deliver your message. Listen to the feedback you are receiving and re-work your message to suit your audience’s needs.  You need to know who you are trying to talk to, work for, satisfy, and so on. Deliver your message in a way the intended audience will understand while still staying true to your own intentions. You can still be yourself and please others too provided you use their feedback to determine how best you can satisfy their needs.

2. Learn to Listen and Evaluate

Negative feedback: it’s uncomfortable, it can be hurtful, and it can really do a number on your self-esteem. While in these times it may seem easy enough to just nod along and tune whatever the other party is saying; you need to remember that the opportunity to receive feedback, even if it is negative, is an important one!

You never want to send out the signal that you are

  1. Not open for feedback in the future.
  2. Entirely “uncoachable” all together.

Take in the feedback you have been given, and rather than react to it; I encourage you to process. Take the time to really pick it apart (not in an obsessive way) in order to determine the validity of the feedback.

  • Was it something you already knew about yourself or your project?
  • Have you received similar feedback in the past?
  • How credible is the person giving you this feedback? (Maybe their opinion doesn’t really matter anyway).

Only by listening and really evaluating what the individual is trying to tell you can you really begin to process the response, and apply the necessary or recommended changes into your life.

3. Take a Hard Look In The Mirror

Mindfulness is integral to this process; knowing your behaviours, and recognizing where you can improve, and feedback is the perfect opportunity for you to reflect on just how mindful you are really being.

It is easy to blame other factors, people, and situations for why our work was received poorly, but that reaction is not helpful nor constructive in the long run. You are in control of your own life. Own it.

  • Where can you be better?
  • What can you do better?

Accept, but don’t dwell on what isn’t working and keep moving towards being better and doing better next time. Criticism can hurt, and that is okay. Remember, the difficult times in which we struggle are often the times that provide the most successes.

Embrace resistance, embrace feedback, and work on moving forward as a better self.

How to Improve Your Communication

How to Deliver Your Intended Message

Communication is key in every aspect of our lives – our careers, our education, and our relationships. Pretty much anyone can communicate in some way shape or form, but not everyone is capable of doing so effectively. While some are naturally gifted with great communication; many are not and that is OKAY!Communication is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and improved over time.

In this post, I have compiled my top 3 strategies to help in achieving these effective communication skills in your own life. As always, the audio version can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Force Yourself to Listen

First of all, take note that listening is not the same as waiting your turn to talk. Sometimes we are so focused on the next point we want to say that we don’t actually listen to the other person.  You can’t concentrate on what someone’s saying if you’re busy forming what you’re going to say next. Often, the speaker can read your facial expressions and know that your mind’s elsewhere.

Be present in conversation,  slow down and listen to what the speaker is saying so that you can genuinely respond based on the information they provide. We all get so afraid that our opinions are going to get lost in the discussion that we tend to disregard what the other person has to say.

So, next time you find yourself in a heated discussion with someone you genuinely care about, slow down and actually listen. What are they saying? Why do they feel that way? Perhaps paying attention will change your own perspective.

2. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues

This one may sound simple (i.e. if a person is facing away from you they probably aren’t interested in the conversation). However, have you ever tried paying attention to your own cues? Are you:

  1. Looking up and down from your phone while in a conversation in person with someone?
  2. Distracted by other visuals in the room?
  3. Crossing your arms?
  4. Yelling or speaking in an aggressive tone?

These could all be indicators (some more aggressive and obvious than others) that will reflect negatively on you in the perception of the other person. Focus on your tone (which will be different for different audiences), eye contact, and on appearing engaged and interested.

So much is interpreted – or misinterpreted – through body language, it is equally important that we are representing the message we want physically as much as we are verbally.

3. Keep Stress In Check

How many times have you said something in an argument that you later regretted? Learning how to quickly relieve stress and return to a calm state in an efficient and time effective manner is a necessary skill when it comes to effective communication. It is only in a more relaxed state that you can actually practice the other two tips I have mentioned.

But how? How do we remain calm when our emotions are starting to spin out of control? Whether it’s a job interview that has you jittered, or a heated conversation with a colleague or partner remember the following:

  1.  Recognize that you are stressed (muscle tightness, shortness of breath, heart pounding, temperature rising).
  2. Breathe. Simple but easily forgotten. Remember that breathing is what will help you maintain that calm, cool, attitude even if you are internally losing your mind.
  3. Be open to compromise, and accept the circumstances. Some things are simply out of your control. If you can both bend a little perhaps you can find middle ground painlessly.

Maintaining your stress levels, will allow you to think rationally, be able to understand the other party’s point of view, and respond in a calm and meaningful way.

– – – 

Even if you are not a gifted speaker, you can still become highly effective in the art of communication. Of course, it takes time and effort to develop this skill, BUT the more effort and practice you put in, the more instinctive and effective your communication skills will become.

How to Strengthen Your Intuition

Self-Guided Happiness

Intuition: the instinct and ability to acquire knowledge without conscious reasoning. It is the act of knowing something without knowing why or how you know it. While traditional science doesn’t recognize intuition as “a thing”, it can most certainly be honed in on and utilized as a tool to achieve the results you seek.

Intuition allows you to live a beautiful life. A life full of joy. We are often so hard on ourselves thinking if we make the wrong decision it will be awful! I encourage you to think less and receive more – if you make a bad decision you can learn how to follow your intuition to a better place.

Intuition is gentle guidance, it is never urgent or pushy and it doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot do. Instead it serves as a quiet confidence; if you follow it your soul will feel good, but there is no timeline to do so. Finding and using your intuition is the act of discovering your purpose and acting on it.

Society may pressure you to build a lifestyle in a particular way, but you don’t have to do that. Find your intuition and enable it to weave your passions into your life and your work. While choosing the path that feels most true to who you are and where you want to go may not always be clear, learning how to move through that process will lead to clarity and confidence in making future decisions to get where you want to go.

This week I have two very simple tips for you to tap into that intuitive feeling. As always you can find the audio versions of this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

Find Inspiration

What is it that inspires you? Sometimes life can become so muddled and messy that it can be difficult to remember the simple joys. When you find yourself in a rut, find another source of inspiration and go back to what you love (e.g. cooking, art, meditation, gardening, watching a favourite TV show, etc.). Do whatever brings you joy.

Understand your triggers that will put you into a negative or unproductive state. Learn toin develop a “toolbox” of activities you can go to when you are approaching a this state. Learning to tap into your mind and understand what it is that makes you feel good, whether you realize it or not, is a way of tapping into your intuition.

Practice

Give yourself the opportunity to make intuitive decisions. Listen to how you really feel about what you want to do/eat/see.

Consider this example. Every day you wake up and you eat the same thing for breakfast – let’s say a bowl of cereal. I encourage you tomorrow to instead wake up and rather than reverting to this habit think to yourself, “What do I want for breakfast?”. If it’s cereal, great. However, I trust if you really listen you may discover another answer; maybe it’s toast, fruit, eggs, or oatmeal. As silly or simple as it may sound this is an easy way of training your brain to trust your intuition.

You need to afford yourself the opportunity to follow that gut feeling. We often ignore this feeling in fear of the “what if’s” and the comfort in sticking with the status quo, but in practicing over time to trust you heart in decisions for smaller events (i.e. breakfast), you will build the confidence in your intuition enough to make larger more life impacting decisions later on.

Learn to stand in your truth. Let your heart lead and use your head (logic) to formulate the plan. 

 

How to Cultivate Compassion

compassion

Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, we are each on our own journey through life in the pursuit of happiness be it whatever form that may choose to manifest itself; either for ourselves or for others. Human nature is to feel good when expressing love and care for other humans, and to feel even better when those same feelings are reciprocated back to us. Humans have a natural capacity to provide and express compassion. However, day-to-day factors such as stress, social pressures, and life experiences/filters can suppress this capacity.

Practicing compassion not only helps to lower your cortisol levels (see post here on the negative impacts of cortisol), but will also serve to help you attract happier people into your life. When you are happy, the people around you are happy and so, cultivating a sense of compassion can serve as a highly effective tool in achieving the happiness you seek. By incorporating just three simple changes into your everyday life, you can begin to cultivate compassion in your life effortlessly.

Feel free to listen to the audio version of this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

Give Back

Too often does it occur that we conceive a way in which we would love to help someone, but fail to act upon this idea. I encourage you each and every day to act on your impulse to express your kindness; no matter how big or small. Practice doing something small each day to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. It can be something as simple as a smile, a kind word, doing an errand or chore, or just talking about a problem with another person.

When you live to serve others in a way that affords them strength, guidance, or direction in their life with no expectation of a return, you will soon come to realize that the gift of having that ability to provide in the first place was really your greatest asset all along. I promise it will feel good.

Seek Commonalities

Another common barrier preventing our innate ability to practice compassion is judgement. It is important that while every individual’s journey through life is different, we all experience a life that is hard and are making the best effort to do what we can with the tools we have. So, relax your judgements.

At the end of the day, we are all human – we all need food, water, shelter, and love. We crave attention (whether we admit it or not) and seek recognition when we do something… anything… big or small. Reflect more on these commonalities and less on what sets you apart; In recognizing we are each one in the same, compassion will naturally flow for the needs with which you can connect.

Mindful and Get Your Emotions in Check

Lastly, understand that you cannot properly help someone if you aren’t in a good place to start. Just as in the theory that an abused child turns into an abuser, inner turmoil can in turn inflict outer turmoil unintentionally when trying to express compassion from an unstable place. In order to serve others, you need to first work through your own emotions and difficulties to be able to connect with good intentions. When you do the work to heal your psyche and connect with yourself, compassion becomes a natural by-product

At the end of each day think about the people you met and talked to, and how you treated each other. Think about your goal to act with compassion towards others. Reflecting on your actions will allow you to move your best foot forward tomorrow, the next day, and so on

  1. How well did you do?
  2. What could you do better?
  3. What did you learn from your experiences today?

When you start to utilize these tools to practice compassion more and more in your day to day life, I can promise you that you will begin to see and feel a positive difference emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

No one has ever felt bad for improving someone else’s life.

How to Care Less

Focus On What Serves You

Whether you realize it or not, you get to choose each and every day what it is that you care about. This decision is based on what your priorities are at that time.  You may think that caring about nothing is the easiest most effortless thing you can do, but caring about nothing is still a choice – a choice not to care at all.

This week I am discussing how to care less about the things holding you back from caring about what it is that will serve you. As always, the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Determine Your Values

Think of something you want.

A six pack? More money? A different job?

Now, dig past that first layer.

What will you have to de-prioritize in order to bring those things to fruition? (i.e. what will you be giving up in order to get what you want, and is it going to be worth it?)

Happiness is typically not found in trivial things. So maybe,achieving those surface level things won’t make you happy after all. Instead think about the actions that it took to get you there. What did you have to do to be able to achieve that goal, and was it the action itself that made you most happy? Perhaps.

Most humans need meaning and purpose to feel fulfilled, not superficial results. So, determine what it is on deeper level that will bring you happiness. Is it: Integrity? Dedication? Stability? Transparency? It’s yours to decide.

2. Find Your OWN Balance

Balance sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t mean the same thing for every person. My life is different than yours, therefore my balance looks different than yours. Balance is determined by your priorities; figure out where you want to focus your time, and how you can work towards fitting that into your life.

The point of focusing on balance is to exude your energy into activities that actually give you joy and fulfillment as much as possible. Care more about what serves you and less about things that drain your energy.

3. Be Honest With Yourself

Up until this point in time, most of us have spent a large majority of our time basing our lives and decisions on the guidance of our parents. Our values of our younger years were largely influenced by those who raised us. The difficulty comes as adults, when we begin to question and realize that perhaps we no longer hold the same perspective.

The hardest times come when we have to honestly look at our decisions and think “Do I actually care about this, or it only because [society] [my parents] [my peers] [etc] told me I do?”. It’s okay to be afraid to make a change in your life out of fear of how people will react. What is not okay is to because complacent and accepting of your unhappy state. By caring too much about what others think, we are hindering are own ability to determine what it is that we actually care about. Be honest, be open, and be willing to change; you are your own largest road block on the pathway to success.

Figure out what you want, how you’re going to get there, and what you need to forget about along the way. Care less, and achieve so much more.

How To Live a Healthier Life + BONUS

5 Step Guide to Healthy Living

Sometimes, living a healthier lifestyle is seemingly impossible. I personally have struggled with trying to fit many different “diets” or “lifestyles” into my routine; haven’t we all? The best thing I have learned on this journey is that being healthy doesn’t have to be drastic or difficult.

Our physical health is the one thing keeping us going in this world, and yet it is also the thing we most often take for granted. When you decide to take control of the decisions you are making to affect your physical health, the impacts will permeate into your overall well-being. By incorporating a few simple steps into your daily routine, I can guarantee that you will:

a) Have more energy in your day-to-day life.
b) Feel better about the choices you are making (confidence is key).
c) Be on track to living a longer, more prosperous, and happier life.

 

As always, the audio version of this post can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play. If you would like access to an at home HIIT workout to kickstart your fitness alongside these healthier choices, you can find that here.

1. Get More Sleep

Who wouldn’t love to spend the day in bed? I know some days I would. The hustle is hard – waking up at 6, not going to bed until midnight. The fact is though, that sleep is important and needs to be made a priority.

The average adult should be striving to get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night in order to maintain a variety of regular body functions. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Mood control
  2. Memory/cognitive function
  3. Metabolic regulation (sleep decreases the production of leptin – hunger inhibiting hormone – meaning you are more likely to make choices out of physical need rather than emotion).
  4. Heart health (sleep lowers the production of inflammatory proteins – common in people with sleep apnea/other sleep disorders – thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease).

2. Drink More Water

This can be hard for many. Try infusing your water with different fruits/herbs/veggies so that you don’t get bored! Hydration is key to flush your body of toxins (no detoxes necessary), and clearing your skin. Further to this, an increased consumption of water has been shown to boost your metabolism, and curb cravings (aka. good for weightloss) Lastly, a dehydrated body means a dehydrated mind. By increasing water consumption you will see an improvement in alertness and motor skills.

3. Get Moving

To see the benefits of movement you do not need to spend hours at the gym. Simply seek opportunities to move. Get up from your desk! Go for a walk! Pick up some weights! Any of these activities are linked to improved cardiovascular health, mood, joints/muscles/tissue strength, and blood flow/focus.

4. Eat Your Veggies

Your parents weren’t lying when they told you this! Consumption of vegetables (particularly a variety of veggies) has been linked to improved gut health – which in turn is linked to mental health and overall wellbeing/energy). Vegetables have SO MANY  vitamins and minerals, it is important to diversify your choices and “eat the rainbow”  in order to reap all of the potentional benefits.

Here are a few of the color/benefit correlations:

Red/Purple/Blue Lycopene – Decreases risk for heart disease and cancer

WhiteAllicin – Decreases blood pressure

Orange/Yellow – Carotenoids/Beta-kerotene – Improves immune function and vision

Green – Chlorophyll – improves skin, decreases the risk for cancer, anddna mutations –

Eating a variety of vegetables will improve your vitamin intake tenfold #vitamins4days. If veggies really aren’t your thing try sneaking them into a smoothie (i.e. kale, spinach, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.) or make use of a greens powder such as this for a delicious way to get multiple servings in one go!

5. Practice Positivity

A positive mind yields positive results. By developing better, more positive coping skills in difficult times, stress hormone (cortisol) levels will be lowered over time. Stress is the number one public health enemy and by learning techniques to combat it, you will be on your way to healthier, happier life. Practice positivity and feel good.

Healthy living can seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Small, simple changes can have HUGE impacts and outcomes in the grand scheme.

 

How to Find Your Own Happiness

Finding Happiness

Happiness.  Easy for some, elusive for many.  While many may disagree, I believe that you can make decisions which lead to overall happiness and contentment in life. It may not be easy; in fact at times it will be seemingly impossible, but by making the effort to monitor your thoughts and actions, and steer course towards a more balanced present, happiness can and will be achieved.

Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work.

As always you can listen to the audio version on SoundCloud, iTunes, or Google Play.

1. Choose The Right Opportunities

For most, happiness is an achievement; the result of effort and intention – not a mere coincidence. Happiness in itself is not a decision, instead it is the result of the decision to pursue attitudes and behaviours that will result in happiness over unhappiness. The key to obtaining happiness is to put yourself into environments that increase your probability and to avoid those which are detrimental or draining on our already scarce resource.

2. Foster Forgiveness

Bitterness serves as an anchor; a catalyst for stagnation. Holding onto anger and grief has been proven time and time again to negatively affect our mental and physical well being. While simply saying “get over it” is easier said than done – learning to foster forgiveness towards that which we cannot control is integral to the process of moving onwards and upwards.

  1. Recall the hurt.
  2. Try to empathize with the perpetrator – why did they do what they did?
  3. Remember a time when you were granted forgiveness.
  4. Commit to the forgiveness – mentally or physically (i.e. write it down).
  5. Do not dwell not the hurt/anger, hold on to the forgiveness.

Mulling will not get you very far, this I can assure you. Let it go, move along, don’t let the actions of other control your happiness.

3. Fake It Until You Feel Better

While the principle of this seems silly – you are sad/upset/angry/hurt why pretend to be something you are not (i.e. happy)? The psychology behind this practice is proven.  Smiling alone can induce the feeling of happiness. All feelings are the result of actions, by acting happier your brain will begin to believe that you are actually happier.

4. Put Your Negativity In Check

Negativity will always be the default. It is easy to be negative, because positivity makes us uncomfortable.  Negative thoughts serve no real useful purpose and can directly contribute to negative emotions.  Negative thoughts leave us in a state of hopelessness, thinking we will never have enough, be enough, or find enough.

Given that negativity is the norm, it can be difficult to identify in ourselves when we have shifted into this state of mind. In order to learn how to change negative thoughts, you must first learn to recognize them. Start paying attention to your thought patterns; practice mindfulness. Pay attention to your present. Focusing too much on the past (what could have been) or the future (what may never come) is neither useful nor productive.

If you can catch these thoughts before they gain momentum, you will better be able to flip the problem into perspective and deal with it in a much more positive light.

5. Engage In Meaningful Activities

Think about how you have spent the last 24 hours.

Were you productive? Did you get something accomplished?

If no, how are you feeling?

If yes, I can bet you are feeling pretty good. Studies have shown that in order to get more [happiness] out of life, you have to put more into it. People are seldom happier than when they achieve a sense of flow in their lives; a state of mind in which you become absorbed in a meaningful task or challenge. While flow-inducing activities seldom come naturally, the reward far outweighs the investment. So determine something you wish to achieve and work for it. Reap the rewards of your efforts and feel truly happy.

Find your fuel. Ignite your fire. Chase your happiness. Great things will come.

How to Change Your Morning Routine (For the Better)

How To Have a Better Morning

First things first, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. How badly do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Further to that, once you force yourself out of bed, how are you feeling? For many of us, getting out of bed is only half of the struggle, the real challenge comes with trying to orient ourselves towards having a happy and productive day. We all weren’t born morning people, and that is perfectly okay. However, that doesn’t mean we have to be walking zombies either. This week I want to share with you 6 simple things you can implement into your daily routine to enter your day more energized and ready to take on the world.

As always, you can listen to the podcast for this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundClound.

1. Leave Your Curtains Partially Open

*insert gasp here* I know many of us feel the need for pitch black in order to fall asleep, (I get it – trust me), but as long as you aren’t going to bed when the sun is still up, cracking the curtains a few inches shouldn’t hurt. The main benefit of this practice is the natural light that aids in your awakening. Even though you will still be asleep in the morning, the natural light seeping through your eyelids will trigger your brain to slow the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) thus encouraging you to wake up – with much ease I might add. Consistent practice of this will aid in the adjustment of your “natural clock” making it easier and easier over time to wake up.

2. Change Your Alarm Sounds Frequently

Have you ever had a dream in which a fire alarm or car horn goes off and won’t stop, only to wake up and realize that it was your alarm clock all along? Well, you are not alone. Naturally our brains adapt to repetitive sounds – particularly those we have implemented to wake us from our slumber. So over time, rather than instilling fear and jolting us out of bed, the familiarity of the noise causes the alarm to lose its effectiveness.

My suggested solution to this is simple – switch up your sounds, scare yourself, and get the heck out of bed. While there is no set timeframe for how frequently you need to change your alarm, whenever you begin to find it easier and easier to either sleep through the sounds or hit snooze one million times, it is likely a good indicator that it is time for a change. For me, I typically try to switch it up every couple weeks, and set two separate alarms 5 minutes apart – the first calming and gentle and the second much more obnoxious to get me going. Find what works for you.

3. Chug Water

So, you just woke up after sleeping for 7-8 hours. I can guarantee you that your body is going to be dehydrated, which is why I like to start each day by chugging 1L of water. Now, you can chug back just any ole plain water or if you’re feeling adventurous you can try my Morning Elixir.

  • 2 slices of Lemon
  • 2 slices of Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Whole Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother*
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey**
  • 2 cups of Water

* the “Mother” refers to gut-friendly enzymes, bacteria, and proteins – without the mother the health benefits are non-existent.

** raw honey contains numerous vitamins and minerals not found in regular honey therefore maintaining all of its anti-viral/anti-fungal properties

This drink proves beneficial for the following reasons and then some…

  1. Improves Your Digestion
  2. Boosts Your Metabolism
  3. Suppresses Your Appetite
  4. Improves Your Skin
  5. Increases Your Energy Levels

Honestly on days where I don’t drink it – my body knows.

4. Do a Face Mask

Many people recommend face masks for the evening. Step 1) Go to sleep with a face mask on. Step 2) Wake up with hydrated skin. Sounds simple enough right? While it may prove effective, for me it proves to be a nuisance and so I have opted for the alternative.

Every morning at 6am as I blindly struggle my way out from under the sheets and stumble to the bathroom, I reach for my Lush Cup O’ Coffee face mask and smear it ever so aesthetically across my face. A coffee scrub mask (whether purchased or homemade like this one here) serves to be effective in the morning for 2 reasons.

  1. The smell of coffee alone acts as a stimulant to the brain, therefore helping you wake up.
  2. The granules work as a mildly abrasive scrub and help to free up any dead skin cells or impurities that accumulated during your beauty rest.

Follow this practice up with a quality moisturizer and DAMN you will not regret this decision.

5. Stretch

Stretching: a simple practice and yet so few of us actually do it. Think you don’t have time for a little morning yoga session? Wrong. Youtube has you covered. Try this video, or search through the hundreds of other “5 minute morning stretching routines”. Stretching out your extremities first thing in the morning will enhance blood flow, increase your alertness, and improve the oxygen flow to all of your tissues – a win, win, win situation one might say.

6. Pick One Thing You Wish to Accomplish

So you’ve thought about incorporating all of the other steps I have mentioned, but are feeling a little overwhelmed.

“These seem too hard” or “It will take too much effort/time”

That is okay. If I can leave you with one last piece of advice, I will at least try to make it easy. In this life everyone is seeking to feel a sense of contribution or purpose; a sense that the things they have done will or have made a difference.

So, I want you each and every morning, to establish one single thing you want to accomplish for that day. Keep your goal simple (i.e. I will go for a 20 minute walk, I will call my Grandma, I will pay my Visa bill, etc.). In doing this and making it something actually attainable, you are setting yourself up for success. You will not only have something to work towards, but you will also have the satisfaction of accomplishing something once it is done. What better feeling is there than that?

 

The key to having a good day is starting off on the right foot. Give yourself the time, and utilize the tools necessary to achieve your own successes.

How To Take Control of Your Life

CONTROL AND ACHIEVING RESPONSIBILITY

When was the last time you found yourself thinking about your current situation in life, and how making just one different decision in your past would’ve have changed the course of everything for the better? Perhaps if you had or had not of done that one thing, absolutely everything would be totally different. Maybe if you could have had more time, better support, or different resources things would have worked out how you wanted them to. These thoughts are destructive, and it’s finally time to stop and take control.

People tend to live as though their past controls their future, but this is only true if you allow it to be. Your memories of past events are biased, leaving you with feelings towards those situations that are distorted and often times, unresourceful. By learning to own the fact that you are in control of the decisions you have made and will make in your life, you are one step closer to achieving your desired outcomes.

As always the audio version of this post can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Quit Passing the Blame and Let Go

All too often we don’t want to own up to the mistakes that we have made in the past. We blame other people, our previous circumstances, and our surroundings for not achieving the results we wanted. Not only is this tendency unattractive to others when trying to gain their support, but it also prevents us from altering our decision making process and impedes us from getting the results we want.

I want you to think of a time when something didn’t go your way. Did blaming someone/something else change that? Nope, definitely not. What can YOU do differently next time to alter your outcome?

We are in control of our own decisions. By learning to liberate ourselves from the decisions of the past (both our own and those of others) we can achieve so much more clarity on the path to being successful. Always reflect on what you have learned, and move forward knowing how you can be better. Do not worry about the others.

2. Learn to Accept and Take Care of Yourself

When you learn how to take 100% responsibility for things you want and the work you put into achieving them, you will begin to naturally attract the support of others without them being the ones in control.

We are all human, each respectively with our own flaws. By learning to accept our faults, and working towards being better each and every day we will find that the sense of control we feel in our day-to-day actions will naturally strengthen.

Continuously seek to develop traits that will aid in the process of getting what you want and nurture those characteristics as they develop. Reward yourself for your successes, but do not punish yourself for mis-steps; it is all part of the journey. In order to feel good you need to reassure yourself that you are doing good, so be sure to evaluate along the way and recognize your achievements – no matter how small.

3. Establish Your Priorities and Always Think Forward

If you feel like you are constantly at war with a never ending to-do list perhaps it is time to stop and assess how you got there. Don’t be afraid to turn away new opportunities that do not contribute to your overall end game. The end goal here is progress, if your actions are not contributing to your progress then why are you participating in them? Rid your time of useless activities.

Further to the idea that you should not waste your time on things not contributing to your overall success, it is important to recognize that you also aren’t going to do something you don’t believe is possible. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, then chances are you won’t. After all, why would you try to do something that your brain thinks you are incapable of doing? Prioritize your success, and work towards the end goal here. Think of the tools and actions you need to get there, and determine how you can and will get and do those things. Don’t be afraid to give it your all – even in unfamiliar territory.

Quit the “No’s” – Love Yourself – Strive Towards Success