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Coach Carlene

Sometimes we are wasting our time doing things that are holding us back from being productive, happy and successful. And, often we don’t recognize those things until someone points them out. That was so true for me. Then I became an entrepreneur and learned how valuable each second of the day was – that there really wasn’t any time to waste on things that didn’t grow me or my business.

So to get started, here are eight habits I’ve adopted to boost my productivity and keep the momentum going.

Habit 1 – Limit Social Media

Being on social media – checking Facebook notifications, scrolling through pictures on Instagram, reading quick updates on Twitter, whatever – it’s part of everyday life. But if you don’t control how much time you spend on it the hours will fly by and you won’t have accomplished anything on your to-do list.

Either put a time limit on it – set an alarm for when you need to minimize it, close the app, do something else – or only get on after completing necessary work and tasks and use social media as a reward.

Habit 2 – Plan Every Day

Productive people have a purpose, a laser-focused plan of things they want to achieve on a particular day. I believe in writing things down – but only the top two or three things I need to accomplish that day, not a long list of to-do’s. Ask yourself, “What are the 2-3 things that I must get done today and when I look back on my day if I accomplished them, then it was indeed a great day?”

Habit 3 – Stop Doing Emotionally Draining Activities

If you want to create a truly productive life, you have to focus on things that positively fuel your life. Productive people don’t waste their time on things that emotionally drain them.

Before committing to activities on your schedule, be sure it will positively add to your day and life. If you believe it wont, then think about saying no, or not now. Don’t feel like your have to give an answer right when you’re being asked. Follow your gut. Don’t overthink it.

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If left to simmer, fear turns to paralyzing self-doubt. There is the fear of not fitting in, of being ostracized, of disappointing others, of failure or even success. 

I’m here to tell you that a life that is exciting, joyful and meaningful, is on the other side of that fear.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

I mean it. Really take some time to answer that question. 

And when you find your answers, go out and plan to do exactly what you are afraid of doing.

We allow ourselves to be caged in by fear, the tiger in our mind that keeps us within the boundaries of our comfort zone. But fear, like any other emotion is just a feeling. It’s not pleasant, but if you can lean into its discomfort, you will discover endless new possibilities for yourself.

Life is short. It truly is. This past year has been a painful reminder to all of us. You may think you have time. That there will be a day that you will not be scared, and then you’ll do it.

But here’s the thing, that day will not come. The only way you will stop being afraid and stop doubting yourself is by doing exactly what you are afraid of. Stop waiting.

Ask yourself, is what I’m scared of really that important? In the bigger picture of it all, does it really matter?

The answer is no. If you focus on “why” the thing you’re afraid to do is important, you get to choose. 

Why is it important for you to ask for a promotion & get a raise? 

To feed your family, to take vacations, to get out of debt? 

Are those things more important than your fear of your boss saying no? 

Remember it’s not about your fear. A mantra I use, when I’m stuck at this point of choice, is NAM – Not About Me. It’s not about me and my fears. It’s about taking care of my family. 

It’s a heavy weight to carry around living your life dictated by the limitations of the imagined fears in your head. 

It is not about the absence of fear, but a way of using the fear as a compass to guide you in the right direction, knowing that whatever comes your way, you’ll deal with it. 

If you’re scared of something, then it very likely is the one thing that you should be doing. And each and every time you do this, you grow in ways you never thought possible. 

If you really knew and understood your time here was limited, would that change your perspective on your fears? If you knew you only had another 5 years, would that change things? A year? A month? A week? 

We allow ourselves to hide under the comfortable blanket of certainty. But in the end, it won’t matter. It won’t matter that you failed at something. Get real. We all do. It comes with being human. It won’t matter that it took you longer than expected or that you didn’t do the best job of it, or that you never even succeeded.  

What matters is that you succeed in life. And with that I mean, that you tried, you learned, you grew, you lived, you loved, and in some way made a difference in someone’s day.

So what are you afraid of? And what step can you take to do exactly that? What challenge can you set for yourself, big or small?

If you like this, you’ll love this free guide.

Grab it now. It’ll help you find your “why”.

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence.

Most of us dream our dreams and leave this world never having lived those dreams. I don’t know about you, but this year has taught me there is no time to waste in actively pursuing our dreams. 

Pursuing our dreams can be scary. It means we most likely have to go out of our comfort zone. It takes courage. 

What do you think courage is? 

When I ask this question, I get answers like; “It means being brave or fearless.” 

Here’s the truth about courage. 

Courage does not mean that you are NOT afraid. Quite the opposite. It’s the ability to take action when you feel afraid or uncertain. It’s taking action even when you are afraid. Courage is what will make you say yes to things in spite of your feelings about it. Confidence says, I know what I’m doing. Courage says, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll try anyway. 

As I was watching a video from Mel Robbins, it hit me why our dreams are never lived, left sitting quietly on the horizon. 

The dream is free and EASY. But the goals you need to achieve in order to live those dreams come at a cost; time, effort, money. Goals are HARD. We need courage to do hard things.

So what’s the difference between dreams and goals. 

Dreams: 

  1. Are really big, inspiring and motivating.
  2. Should be made public. You should talk about them. Research shows that when you talk about your dreams, you feel more inspired to go after them.
  3. Never have a timeline or an expiration date. None of this, “by the time I’m 30” stuff.
  4. Are EASY
    E- Energized: You should feel it in your body
    A-Aspirational: A dream is a hope or ambition that makes you feel bigger. You know? That you’re up to something bigger than the small stuff in your everyday life. 
    S-Spacious: When you think about this dream, there is something that expands. It could be in your spirituality, your physicality, your consciousness, your purpose or the impact you’re making, 
    Y-Yours:  Your dreams don’t have to make sense to anyone else. Dreams are easy because they are yours. Not someone else’s expectations. 

Goals: 

  1. Need to be made small so you can take action.
  2. Should be kept private. When you talk about your goals, you’ve tricked your brain into thinking you’ve already achieved something, which makes you less likely to work at it. This is new to me. But there’s science behind it. 
  3. Needs to have a deadline and be measured for completion. It creates urgency and importance in your mind in terms of getting them done. 
  4. Are HARD
    H – Habit: Something you’re going to do over and over until you achieve the goal.
    A-Action: Just thinking about the darn thing isn’t going to make it happen. Goals require focus and consistent action. 
    R- Reachable: Goals have to be realistic. You can’t lose 100 lbs in a week, but you could lose 3 lbs in a week. You have to believe it in order to go for it. 
    D- Do it anyway: Yes, even if it’s hard. You have to stay in action. 

We know a dream without a goal is just a dream. 

We also know, goals without a dream are not just HARD but EXTRAORDINARILY HARD! We need the motivation and inspiration of the dream to propel us forward.

If your dream isn’t motivation enough, you need to understand why this dream is important to you.

What are you afraid of in pursuit of this dream?

Fear of failure? Fear of rejection?

Fear of success?

What is so amazing about living this dream that is so much greater than your fear? 

When you find your why, you find your courage. You will pursue your dream even though you are afraid. You’ll know that living your dream is so much more powerful than living your fear. 

If you liked this, learn more about how to find your courage in my free guide:
The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It & Build Real Confidence

It’s easy to assume that most of us are facing difficult times this Thanksgiving. You may be without a job, have an illness, or be feeling lonely and anxious among many other things. When going through difficult times, it’s harder to see the good that exists amidst our troubles. But practicing gratitude during a difficult time can genuinely help.

By being more grateful for what we do have, we can increase our happiness by 25% according to University of California Psychology Professor Dr. Robert Emmons, author of the book, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He says that gratitude is one of the few things that can change people’s lives in a measurable way.

He sums up his research on gratitude’s effects: 

“We have discovered that a person who experiences gratitude is able to cope more effectively with everyday stress, may show increased resilience in the face of trauma-induced stress, and may recover more quickly from illness and benefit from greater physical health.” 

We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot easily will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy.”

But, there’s a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. While we might not feel grateful during a difficult time, we can be grateful. We can choose gratitude. We can choose a grateful perspective.

When disaster strikes, as it has over and over again in 2020, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life as a whole and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. 

In short, gratitude can be our raft.

Here are four ideas to practice gratitude when stress and chaos strike.

#1 Count your current blessings.  

Think about what you’re currently struggling with and identifying the area of your life that it’s affecting. Next, think about all the other areas of your life where you’re not struggling. Maybe you’re struggling with a work issue, so you think about your good health and your happy home life. Then reflect on all the things that are going right.

#2 Consider what’s way worse. 

Name what’s currently upsetting you, and then come up with a situation (or two) that’s a whole lot worse. Your worst-case scenario could be completely absurd or funny (or not). Let’s use the example of a difficult boss. 

  • Your whole team now consists of several versions of your boss.
  • Your boss follows you home and now lives with you. All. The. Time.
  • You lose your job, and your boss goes everywhere with you and nitpicks everything you do.

#3 Hunt for the positive. 

This is a great way to engage your imagination and invite some play into your life—during a time you likely need it most. Find at least three positive things, three times a day for an entire week. And all these things have to be different. But they can be small. Even tiny. For instance, you might be grateful that a stranger held the door for you, you got to savor a hot cup of coffee, or your favorite shirt was clean after all.

#4 Express Your Gratitude

Expressing gratitude to our loved ones and to strangers every day can be uplifting for both the giver and receiver. We are often so consumed with our daily routines and obligations that we may take people for granted and if we stopped to say thanks, we can make someone’s day.

Our perspective for the people who might be in need of some thankfulness has shifted this year. How long have we taken our teachers, bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, grocery store workers, healthcare workers, and so many other front-line workers for granted? We can deliver a huge boost of positive energy to them simply by expressing our gratitude. 

When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s important to honor your feelings. Honor your pain, hurt, confusion, anger, and fear. And adjust your perspective. Because even in the midst of the worst kinds of losses, there can be love and even laughter. And for that we can be grateful.

If you liked this, download your free guide: Mindset Reset Using the Emoji Technique

Are you a people pleaser? Has being busy and stressed out become a badge of honor you wear every day? Do you struggle with saying “no” to someone or something? Are there particular people in your life where “yes” comes flying out of your mouth before you even stop to think about what you actually want?

Most of us have been there too because generally speaking saying yes is easy. Saying no, well, that takes a little more courage!

In reality, saying yes all the time to please others is actually incredibly fake, builds resentment, and is a complete disservice to those you are saying yes to, when really you want to say no.

For some saying no comes easier than others. Studies have shown, women suffer from this more-so than men. Many of my ADHD clients describe themselves as “people pleasers.” Fear of saying no is real. The best way to avoid these fears is simply to say yes.

When you can’t say no, do you:

  • Fear being rejected or thought poorly of by others
  • Worry that the other person won’t like you anymore or badmouth you
  • Hold a belief that you are being selfish if you say no
  • Fear conflict with others
  • Want to be “nice” and seen as someone who contributes selflessly to others (even if you resent saying yes and contributing!)
  • Attach your self-worth to how many things you do for others
  • Allow other people’s priorities to become your own priorities (for reasons above)
  • Let others start to get used to you saying yes all the time, making finding your no even more challenging.
We have mostly been trained from a very young age that saying no is wrong or not okay. How many times did your parents get angry at you if you said no to doing something? Did you get sent to your room or grounded? Many of us have been stripped of our permission to say no from very early on.

So it’s no wonder that many of us have lost the art of saying no. But it’s not all bad news, because saying no is just like a muscle that hasn’t been used in a while. You can still train it back into shape!

Here are some tips that will help get your “no”-muscle back into shape so that you can focus on what matters to you and start prioritizing what you want for your life.  Read More