Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Keep being Resilient…

The final push through lockdown could be our toughest job yet, knowing that freedom is within touching distance how do we keep on being resilient.

We wake up each morning and decide on the level of energy we wish to deploy. In the book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers says we should use the pain to power continuum. If you see a line on a piece of paper with those two words, decide how near to pain you are and how near to power you are. We want to be near power however a poor nights sleep or a genuine illness might pull us towards pain. She says we have the choice and whatever we deploy at the start will set the tone for the day and potentially the week.

Our mindset is another conscious choice we make although we might have carried beliefs from childhood into adulthood which might not be helpful. Professor Carol S Dweck’s book on “Mindset”, explains we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. If you were told as a child that you can’t sing, can’t draw or that you are poor at sport this is something you have decided to fix and lock in. These items we lock in are not good for our resilience levels. Also success can be deliberating, she explains often once something is achieved, people with a fixed mindset stop trying this is not good in an environment where we have no control and we need to continuously think of new ways to work and adapt.

The word resilient means for a person to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To know that resilience is about bouncing back what are the components that you need to work on to ensure that you do recover. If you imagine a table, it has four legs and a top, and without one of those vital pieces the table would feel unstable and fall. We need each leg of our resilient table to be firm and secure.

Leg One – Mental toughness – making decisions and using all your logical thinking to way up pros and cons and be aware of problems as they arrise

Leg Two – Physical energy – staying strong and to be able to attend several back to back virtual meetings still with a smile

Leg Three – Emotional balance – A support for others and ourselves the right level of empathy, and measured responses.

Leg Four – Social skills – Naturally adept at making others comfortable and comfortable in your own space.

Table Top – Sense of purpose – meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.

Create your own “Resilient Backpack”. If you were going on a hike you would pack a rucksack with essentials for the trip. We are still on the journey of lockdown and decide what you need in your resilient backpack, here are a few ideas:-

  • Favourite music
  • Friends
  • Books
  • Favourite meal
  • Walking
  • Running

Identifying a dip in your resilience eg. which part of your table is unsteady or is it a mood that you can recognise as a sign. Anxious, antagonistic, defensive, snappy, withdrawn etc… We will all have our own indicators, the trick is to get to know yourself and know when something is becoming a pattern. Take something out of your backpack to make yourself feel better or work on a leg of your table, or make a choice to have a growth mindset.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Being Resilient – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Mental & Physical Rhythm…

As a coach I am always keen to steer my client towards healthy habits, rituals and routines. These are normally behavioural choices and not necessarily centred around physicality.

Last week I heard a talk by Dr. Zarrin Shaikh about the importance of well being from the cardiology perspective. Dr Shaikh qualified as a Doctor and for many years worked on the frontline of NHS in cardiology.

She is now focusing on lifestyle cardiology, prevention of heart disease. She shared a great mnemonic “Fresh” which is something I will share with my clients:-

F – food

R – relaxation

E – exercise

S – sleep

H – honesty

The last letter H for honesty is about your own self awareness about whether you are being kind to yourself. The four other categories are great pillars for life and well being which we need to track continuously.

In my coaching sessions during lockdown I have been advocating rituals, like having a break at the same time each day, beginning and closing the day at the same time. During her talk Dr Shaikh confirmed that biological patterns are really important.

A recent conversation with a Leader who shared the need for her team to get into a rhythm with each other. Remote leadership is hard but the more rituals you can put in place the more likely your team will get in sync with each other. I have a client every Monday at 9.00am and I love the discipline of an appointment at the start of the week.

Journalling is a ritual I do everyday to review and assess my development. I set out what I want to achieve each day and take great joy in highlighting tasks accomplished. I have a break in the morning at the sometime each day. Think about how you can create your own rhythm mentally and physically, is it the right beat and volume, and is it sweet to your ears.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Time management

Time to focus on time…

Time is a non spatial continuum, so what are we focusing on…

We can build a relationship with it by asking some key questions to ensure we are maximising our use of it.

  • What did you do with the last hour yesterday?
  • How do you feel about it today?
  • If you had more of it, what would you do with it?

Think about your answers, most of us waste our last hour of the day and the second question normally challenges everyone. How do I feel about time, do I treasure it, do I have any feelings around it? Start to care about time and have feelings around it, guarantees you will make better decisions if you care. We all wish for more time, however unless you write down some goals that you want to achieve will you know what you are going to do with more time. Goals will be accomplished if they are written down and you will find the time.

We have peaks and troughs throughout the day and if you identify your “Prime” time you can ensure that is the time you get your best work done. It has been proven that there is an hour that is best for you. Protect it and ensure that is the time you get your work done that needs the most concentration.

Dan Pink’s book When looks at the science behind time, he explains that there are three phases throughout the day peak/trough and recovery. Analytical and detailed work is best tackled in the morning at the Peak and then when you hit the Trough you should work on procedural/administrative jobs that require little thought. Late afternoon we hit a creative period where we can brain storm and have some of our best abstract thinking this is late afternoon/evening, known as our Recovery time.

To have a better relationship with time, see it as a skill that you need to work on and a behavioural shift you are making a conscious effort to focus on. Try new planners, to-do lists and see how each new system feels until you hit a ritual or pattern that works for you. Extra time cannot be purchased but greater focus and clarity on what you are doing with it can help you achieve better results.

Here are some key nuggets around time:-

  • Identify when is your prime time is during the day
  • Devise new working patterns to include breaks
  • Write down what you are going to achieve each day
  • At the end of the day acknowledge your achievements
  • Get your most important task done first thing – don’t over think
  • Prioritise your to-do list
  • Decide whether a task is important or urgent
  • Try new planning tools and techniques
  • Create a space for productivity – put your phone out of sight
  • Clear your work space – focus on what you need to focus on
  • Don’t overwork and waste time “good is good enough”

Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop on Time Management bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

24 hours…

We start each day with 24 hours and how do you ensure that you make the most of the 24.

If you were working on a project there would be a debrief meeting and an evaluation/review of what went well and what you could do differently or anything you would stop doing.

Look at today or tomorrow and write down what you did in your 24 hours.

We all need a decent night sleep that will cut into a large part of your allocated 24. Keep a log of what your average sleeping time is, you might see a pattern of when you are sleeping well, is 7.5 hours perfect, or are you more alert after 8 hours.

We all are craving structure and have realised in lockdown we need to create our own timetable however are we using the time to its optimum.

Be realistic about work, break it into manageable chunks, look at one hour periods at a time. If you scheduled 3 hours for a project, guaranteed the last hour will be phone surfing, reading the news feed or tidying the pens on your desk. Far better to cut the project into small chunks with breaks.

We lose the most hours when we decided to watch TV in the evening and even worse if we eat and watch. We have more time than we have had before, so making eating, just eating and make watching just watching. Be discerning about what you watch and schedule how long you are allocating, otherwise we realise we have lost 3 hours of our precious 24 and if you were to ask what we had watched we cannot remember.

Exercise can be chunked as well, far better to do something for one hour, instead of doing nothing, which can easily happen if we have not worked effectively with our 24.

Be indulgent with your 24, in the middle of the day read with a coffee and rest assured you will look back on that 1 hour and see it as a good investment.

Just because we are at home, we can still see the people we want to see, with the power of technology. Write a list of who you want to see? The is will be a good allocation and even the time to set it up and reach out will be worth the feel good factor for you within 24.

Log what you do with your 24 hours and look at patterns and ask yourself did you maximise the “24”.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Finding a purpose…

We set our agenda whilst working from home so therefore each day we set the path of intent. Find a purpose in everything you do, from a micro level to macro level.

Having a purpose is liking having a compass in your head. You know for the day the direction you are heading and therefore you set off with a good mind set.

Write down each day what your overall purpose will be and then look to the tasks that connect with that overall purporse.

Example:-

Overall purpose – To write and submit a report

  • Map out a plan
  • Collate research
  • Start the report

Alternatively if you decide your purpose for the day is to be healthy, think of all things you can do that connect eg. eating well, exercising and going to bed early.

When we have decided on our purpose, achievement follows closely and underpins motivation.

Ideally if you have purpose at a macro level you have a clear idea of why you do what you do everyday it make is much easier to set tasks at a micro level.

Ask yourself key questions to discover your overall purpose:-

  • What are you trying to achieve in life?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you selling/or giving others?
  • What story are you telling?

Start to get inquisitive about why you do what you do? Having a clear purpose even when conducting the smallest of tasks is a sign of healthy mental well being.

Decide what is going to be on your agenda tomorrow set the compass and find your purpose…?

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Speaking to yourself as you would to a friend…

I recently reviewed the book “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi who explains how harsh we are on ourselves. She says you would not be that fierce with a friend so why are we with ourselves. This morning I came across this story which completely reinforces her theory.

In his book, Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns recounts a conversation with a carpenter, Frank, who was painting his house. One day, upon returning home, Dr. Burns noticed a change in Frank’s usually sunny disposition and asked if he was feeling alright.

“I’m getting old,” he confessed, fighting back tears. “My body won’t be able to keep up the same pace for much longer. I’m worried that I might not have enough money to support my wife and me when I retire. “I’ve never accomplished anything meaningful or significant in my life.”

Feeling bad for Frank, Dr. Burns asked if he could try something helpful called the double standard technique.

Here’s how he describes it,

“When we’re upset or fall short of our goals, we tend to beat up on ourselves with harsh criticisms. But if we were talking to a dear friend with the same exact problem, we’d do so in a far more compassionate, supportive, and realistic way. Once you’re aware of this, you can ask yourself if you’d be willing to talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you’d talk to a dear friend.”

After asking what he would say to a friend in his position, Frank replied that he would remind that friend that he and his wife would have a decent retirement and be fine even if he decided to retire someday. Moreover, he would assure his friend that he had never once received a complaint about his work, not even once, nor had he ever cheated anyone—and that’s as meaningful as it is significant.

Much to Frank’s surprise, his sadness wasn’t caused by his age, nor his fear of financial hardship come retirement, but rather, his negative thoughts.

The story resonates for the times we are in at the moment we all need to be kind to each other and give more feedback than usual. We need to give authentic praise that has true value within it. Say what the person has done well, but substantiate with evidence and make it specific to that individual. Most importantly try giving yourself some value based praise, we all need a boost.

Please do get in touch with nuggets for a short workshop or coaching by contacting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

Nuggets to get you through November…

We have one month of lockdown come Thursday, so what does your November look like?

Map out your month by using the number 4, as we have 4 weeks to focus on:-

  • Plan 4 weekends – create special meals/home cinema night/family Zoom calls/cocktails
  • Select 4 people you wish to connect with this month
  • Focus on 4 work goals – that will make the biggest difference
  • Identify 4 big exercise routines
  • Read 4 books (one a week)
  • Think of 4 house projects that have been outstanding for a while
  • 4 ways to relax or simply 4 ways to be on your own

Traditionally monthly planning would ask you to think about the following as well as your Power of 4:-

  • Note any special dates (any Birthdays etc…)
  • Check your project list
  • Meal planning and shopping lists
  • Schedule your household chores
  • Bills to be paid
  • Schedule time for you

The other way to check whether you are on track, is to use Stephen Covey’s Habit 7 from the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Sharpen the saw. He says to ensure that we are functioning on all cylinders think of your mind/body/heart and soul. So for the month of November map it out using this key:-

  • Mind – what activities this month will grow your mind, reading, learning and acquiring knowledge
  • Body – how much exercise will you do this month, and have you created a ritual or a routine to make sure it happens
  • Heart – Who will you connect with this month? on a one to one basis outside or virtually
  • Soul- What do you need to do to find space? – silence/meditation/outside/nature

To help get through November get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk – happy to provide (reasonable rate) one off coaching sessions through this lockdown

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Spinning “role” plates…

Do you know how many roles and titles you have in life? If you imagine some spinning plates with all of them labelled with your roles in life you would get a sense of your life. We invest time in certain roles and then sadly as we over invest on certain plates others may wobble and some may sadly crash to the floor.

We have to carefully keep them all spinning with a steady and calm momentum in order to help our own mental well being.

The starting point is to work out what roles we have:-

  • Mother
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Work colleague
  • Line Manager

You will notice that I have included your work roles as well as our life roles. We all put on a certain demeanour depending on the role we are playing and therefore we need to see the full extent of our plates. By including all your roles you get a sense of scale and the emotional investment you are going to need.

It is hard work to keep it all spinning, but life is better if the rotations are calm and steady. I have these last few days only been spinning one and I find that I have lost touch with who I am. Just focusing on that one role has in a way left me slightly disarmed as to who I am.

My spinning will begin again this week and luckily none of my plates were totally neglected so I will not be sweeping up crockery, however it has been a wake up call as to who I am and my many roles.

Please do get in touch with identifying your roles in life bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Relationships

Marble jar friends…

This Friday we will be reviewing the best selling book “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown.

The story from the book I want to share is about trust which features in both books Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead. It explores why we have low trust in organisations and sometimes with our friends. Working from home we can feel isolated so how do we reach out and show that we are still very much there for our friends and colleagues and build trust.

Brown describes a system that her daughter’s school teacher created called the marble jar. If the class as a group made a good decision they had a marble added to a clear jar that was visible to all of them. If they made a bad decision then the marble was taken out. The transparency of the marbles showed whether the classroom had a good “vibe”, was it a nice place to be.

In the book Brown’s daughter comes home from school after an incident where some of her friends shared something she did not want them to share. Brown used the marble jar as an example and asked her daughter – “Who are your “Marble Jar Friends?” She asked her daughter to talk about the “Marble Jar Friends” and say what had they done to earn her trust and friendship, (and a marble).

Her daughter came back with the smallest of ways:-

  • saving a seat at lunchtime
  • remembering the names of her grandparents

Brown found this a revelation that Trust is not gained by the big gestures in can be incremental as above, and it can be the small behaviours that will matter the most.

In her research Brown said that participants described trust as slow building and a layered process that happens over time. The chicken and egg scenario- do we need to trust to be vulnerable or do we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust.

Think over the last month what have your friends done that have earned marbles in your jar of accumulating trust. Colleagues may well have reached out to you even though they are not in your team, but just wanted to put a marble in your jar.

If you are leader how many marbles do you give out and do you track the marbles you receive from your team. Trust underpins all of our relationships so get with the currency of marbles…

Please do come to the book club this Friday @ 10.00am, send me an email and I will get you booked in bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact

My week with the – The Kindness Method

Last week the nuggets book club reviewed “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. As I prepared for the event on the Friday I undertook the exercises myself so that I felt the content had landed and that I understood how to implement the theory.

The author Shahroo Izadi studied psychological sciences and then psychology becoming an assistant psychologist at an NHS substance misuse centre. However the most relevant fact about Shahroo is her battle over her weight which lasted for two decades. It was not until she implemented the Kindness Method on herself that she lost 8 stone and most importantly she has kept it off ever since.

My own journey last week started with the “Snapshot Letter” this is the first exercise where you asked to right a letter to yourself explaining what is going on now. My own personal perspective was around the discipline of work, being healthy and not being overwhelmed by worries around my family.

The main tool that the book draws on is mapping thoughts. You put the central theme in the middle and populate the map with everything that comes to mind.

  1. Ways I’m Happy to be – the first map which you fill with characteristics of yourself, the book provides suggestions, and the advice is go for quantity. Here are a few of mine:-
    • Warm
    • Creative
    • Loving
    • Positive
  2. What I’m Proud of – things that you have achieved from any size, some of mine were the nuggets brand to staying positive through lockdown.
  3. When I’m in the zone – this map should be filled with all the times you have been truly “on it” where were you, what were you doing, why did everything feel so right? On the back of this map answer these 2 questions:-
    • Do these situations you have put on your map have anything in common? If so what are they?
    • Based on what you have written down to create your perfect conditions what would you have to alter about your normal routine now?

These 3 maps put you in a great positive mindset and they are your starting point of change.

4. What hasn’t worked – This map is beginning to identify your resistance, my two big AHA moments were brave and thinking BIG

5. Conversations about me – This is a hard one to write. What have you heard said about you, what have you said about yourself, what do you think about yourself? We are really cruel and this is where you can write it down and hopefully leaves your head landing on the paper. Here are two of mine:-

  • I am not bold or brave enough to change the business
  • I am not focused enough

6. Some-one I love – What would you say to some-one you love? Of course it will look nothing like the cruel dialogue we say to ourselves. I chose my daughter who has just turned 18 years old and I filled the map with all the things I wish for her now and dream of for her. It was the easiest map to complete!

7. This is not a map but key questions to try and get you to focus in a nutshell what it is you need to work on or change:-

I want to do more of…

I want to less of …

I want to be more…

I want to be less…

I want to start…

I want to stop….

In a nutshell – in one sentence say what all the answers are saying:-

I will think big about the business, learning and developing new material all the time by delivering more workshops and coaching.

8. What’s the Harm? – if you don’t change what will happen. The business will look the same next year and the year after.

9. Why haven’t I changed already? – most of my answers had the word “small” in them which again kept leading me to this overall change in thinking. Think Big and talk Big.

10. Developing new strategies – studying the map of “Why I haven’t changed already?” makes you realise that it is you and only you that can make the change. My realisation that my lifestyle and childcare made it very easy to think small. I am aware that everything is comfortable and entering a world of discomfort has been putting me off.

11. Journalling – Take responsibility for what is happening in your life by recording the days events. What are you grateful for? What tested you? How would you respond in the future? This has been my morning ritual for over a month and it pays dividends in a sense of calm and well being, an observer of you and all that you are grateful for.

12. Worry snapshots – capture those tiny little niggles even say them into your phone, once you say them out loud they have gone…

13 What will test me – back to the maps, what will really test your resolve

14 How it’s most important for me to be? – This is a summary of how important this is from a strangers perspective or your family, or even an imaginary film star playing you… I chose to hear what my family would say in 6 months. This was the turning point of the week, I got really excited about what I wanted them to see and hear from me. It really mattered and I really wanted it to start now!

15. Life if I don’t make the changes – dated (6 months time)

16. Life if I do make the changes – (6 months time) – don’t just write the opposite think about what you want it to look like. My big is not about the size on monetary aspect of the business my big is about the depth – meaningful work, making a difference and understanding that is a huge selling point and enormously rewarding (BIG language)!!!

17. Affirmations – that support your change, and saying them out loud everyday

  • My business is thriving
  • I am kind to myself and others
  • I will challenge myself to think BIG all the time

18. The Plan – What are you committing to, capture and log a review date of 3 weeks time.

19. No more excuses – another map to recognise some of your inner dialogue that has been trying to stop you

  • Covid
  • The business is OK – why change
  • Energy/Age

20. Testing myself on purpose – we all have those habits that we know are going to derail so be ready for them and put yourself in the frame to test yourself.

In summary my week of living with The Kindness Method made me feel good about myself and my business. At times it felt very indulgent however the mindset and outcomes are superb. The Plan started on Thursday and nuggets and I are thriving.

Please do get in touch if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Please do watch the video of the book review: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PGtK9Kijs&t=19s