Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

The Power of Journalling…

At the start or the end of the day record the days events in a journal.

According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life. Recording moments acknowledging what happened and not letting a day just drift by.

Identifying values we have in life is a great compass as to whether you are on course. By recording whether you lived by your values in your journal gives us identity and a moral compass. Brene Brown advocates us identifying two core values to live by. As an example my values are:-

  • Making a difference
  • Achievement

By journalling I can track my values, have I made a difference today and what are my list of achievements.

Journals can help you recognise how you have been thinking or feeling that day. One of the top tips is to name your emotions, giving them labels helps you to own them. Once you own an emotion you can then begin to process it, eg. if you were scared and you own it, you can then identify where the fear was coming from. A more positive example if you were happy, what triggered that emotion and how can you repeat it.

Logging your rituals or your habits, one source of tracking can be vital for your journalling. I have at the top of the page walk and nuggets. My ritual of walking everyday needs to be ticked and my nugget is the one thing that has the greatest impact that day (it can be a high or a low).

Why do they work?

Adam Grant talks about mindful, mattering and mastery in his TED Talk the follow up to his New York Times Article. Journalling hits all three areas there is the mindful activity of writing and the mattering of whether you have leaned into your values. The mastery of what you have achieved that day and whether you are learning some new skills or new behaviours.

By journalling we can clear some mental blocks, everything seems so much clearer on paper. A project you have been deliberating on for too long, once you journal what you have started on the project you appreciate that you are moving forward. Progress in any shape or form is motivation.

Being kind to yourself by documenting what is actually going on. There is a peace in the moment of writing and a closing ceremony of what has taken place.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, mindfulness, motivation

Cast a vote for who you want to be…?

This a line from James Clear the author of Atomic Habits. He talks about establishing identity based habits, so if you want to run take on the identity of a runner. Every behaviour or action you then ask yourself does this support the identity you wish to adopt.

The runner identity is quite a clear role but what about the type of person you want to be, leaning into your values. If you want to be more caring what actions and behaviours support this person.

Clear talks about the two minute rule, so the identity you wish to adopt scale it down, and simply just start showing up.

He tells the story of Mitch who goes to the gym for 5 minutes, 4 days a week. Mitch knew that he had to master the art of showing up.

We often put off action as we think we need to learn more about the identity, however the best way to learn is to take action. Don’t buy all the equipment and just look at it. Keep the bar low and you will then step into the repetition as with Mitch’s visits to the gym. You gradually build momentum and you will progress which is directly correlated to motivation. (Teresa Amabile the progress principle)

The showing up is reinforcing your desired identity and a desire to repeat the behaviour.

To keep on track rewards are helpful when we were at school it was about getting a badge, now it might be tracking a good decision or casting votes and logging behaviours that compliment the identity. It is always good to make your progress visual. External rewards must be aligned with the internal identity you are driving to adopt. Simon Sinek calls this the “Celery Test”, if you want to be a healthy eater you are not going to have a reward of an unhealthy food, it must be aligned to your new identity.

True behaviour change is identity change eg. The goal is not to run a marathon the goal is to become a runner.

Reshape the way you think about yourself and be happy in yourself.

Every action or behaviour you are casting a vote – building a body of evidence that this is the person you want to be.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Review of the year…

This will be the last post of this year and so a good time to take stock of the year. I send this to all coaching clients so they can see what has happened and begin to focus on the year ahead.

Review of 2021

Best 5 days of 2021 (think of your whole life, where were you and who were you with?)

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

People who were important to you in 2021:-

Achievements x 3 (in or out of work)

1.

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2021:- (start with an adjective and then explain why you have chosen that description)

Looking ahead to 2022

Big Goals (work or home)

1.

2.

3.

Days & Events in 2022  (significant Birthdays/events such as Weddings/Anniversaries etc…)

Have a lovely Christmas and please do ask others to follow my Blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Finding flow in pure joy…

Adam Grant wrote the article on languishing which was such a life saver to so many people. He has now delivered a TED talk to explain his own journey from languishing to flow. The route out is not a productivity task it was as simple as playing Mario Kart with his family. Something that gave him and others pure joy.

Before the pandemic he had a list of all the things not to do: –

  • No phone in bed
  • No social media in the evening
  • Not more than two screens
  • Only put the TV on when you know what you want to watch

As we know during lockdown every rule went out the window. We watched box sets scrolled social media even though none of us were doing anything. We were muddling through with very foggy windscreens. This was not depression, there was still hope and energy but we felt a bit aimless, and Grant says this was languishing. Cory Keys first coined the expression and she explained that chronic languishing can lead to depression. In time it can dampen your enthusiasm and you become indifferent to your own indifference.

Teresa Amabile says that motivation hinges on progress, so there is tremendous pressure to be upbeat and busy. Grant demonstrates that optimism is not the solution, as to randomly assign too many blessings means your optimism may run out. In the TED talk he asks for one person to say 3 good things in their life and then another to say 42 things, as you would expect the latter becomes random and not meaningful.

So during the lockdown optimism was not the solution, flow was the answer. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the psychologist who explored why flows leads to happiness.

Flow is about total absorption in a task eg. gardening, cooking or the Netflix series. However the last one is only a temporary cure as you are passively engaging a fictional world. Peak flow is about participation in the real world.

Grant found Mario Kart which connected the three ingredients:-

  • Mastery
  • Mindfulness
  • Mattering

It all started when he and his sister reminisced about playing Mario Kart as kids. They decided to play with their own families online, and soon that led to Saturday night adult Mario Kart nights. The mastery connects with the principle of progress, the momentum of the game. Mindfulness you need to give the game your full attention no other distractions. The most beautiful component is the mattering, playing as a family knowing it matters for each other.

My own journey through lockdown was starting a nuggets book club. I set the challenge of a book review each week just for 30 mins. The format was a silly icebreaker that engaged the attendees. I had to master the book through the week and during that 30 minutes I was just there being mindful of the content and the people. I really felt it mattered to me as an individual to still be motivated but I also felt it mattered to others. The book club gave me flow and so much joy.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Develop your resilience ad resourcefulness…

Throughout this period we have talked about being resilient, learning to work from home and how to return to the office. However resilience has a partner we now need to be resourceful as well.

We will still have macro shocks and disruption alongside the micro daily stresses and strains.

Resilience is our capacity to cope with pressure, change and stress. We need four components to ensure we are resilient:-

  • Commitment to stick with it and not give up
  • Persistence and tenacity the ability to keep trying
  • Postivity to always identify a learning opportunity and growth
  • Bounce back, the ability to reset and come back stronger

Resilience can be learnt and below are some ideas as to how you can equip yourself:-

  • Stay motivated
  • Don’t be a perfectionist “Good is good enough”
  • Grow a thicker skin – accept that you will make mistakes
  • Sit with discomfort – wait until you have the right solution
  • Stay strong in self belief
  • Focus on the positive
  • Be realistic but at the same time aim high
  • Don’t lose perspective
  • Positive affirmations – “I can handle this…”
  • Ask for help

Resourcefulness is about the creative ability to overcome problems and making do with what is available at that moment in time. Summarised below:-

  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

We can learn to be resourceful however there is an element that is innate are ability to survive is within us already. We need to keep developing that ability to find quick and clever solutions by being more agile in our thinking.

Tools and ways of developing your resourcefulness:-

  • Evaluate situations what do you have available
  • Think creatively, adapt ideas and find fresh thinking
  • Don’t take the first no as the final answer
  • Negotiate well with a win win for either side
  • Who else can support you
  • Bend the rules if needs be
  • Dare to ask for what you need
  • Keep your options open
  • Embrace different opportunities
  • Be proactive

We are in a new arena of working where being resilient and resourceful, hand in hand will be our way forward. Working patterns will be tried and adjusted several times until we get some good rhythms that are effective.

Look at the toolkits above and practice them to ensure the core behaviours of resilience and resourcefulness are instinctive.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation

Getting back to Positivity…

If we measure our own positivity against the average person’s positivity it is not much of a benchmark. We need to work on it ourselves and determine our own metric.

This weekend I created my own circle of negativity, which is so easy to do. Once you send one negative thought they all want to pile in!!

The power of “Yet” rather than “I will never achieve this…” Instead re-programme your brain to say I have not achieved this “Yet”. This powerful insight comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who is author of Mindset.

Shawn Achor the author of the “Happiness Advantage” explains how we need to change the lens of how we see things. First year medical students have what he describes as the medical syndrome where they learn so much about diseases in the first year that they start to embody the symptoms.

We also must be aware of judgements on other peoples happiness as we can only predict 10% of others happiness based on external factors. You have a good job and a great partner “You must be happy”. However happiness is how your brain is processing the world. We can control our own brains, but it is not going to help if some-one is telling you to be happy based only on their external evidence.

If our brain’s our processing the world which will determine our happiness, look out for the influences that affect you. At the moment we are bombarded by negativity in the media, if we let all of it penetrate we will walk around with the World’s responsibilities. How many times do you hear the news during the day, perhaps just once will keep you up to date, but continuously throughout the day might let the negativity spread?

Shawn Achor describes in his TED talk that a school that was hosting a Wellness Week, with various talks spread out over the week entitled:-

  • Adolescence depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Bullying and violence
  • Illicit drug use

He said to the school what you have outlined is a sickness week. Change the formula for the brain, rather than the negative, what could those workshops be about instead…

One of the formulas for being happy is to work to a 3:1 ratio.

  • New opportunities
  • New experiences
  • New or enjoyable interactions

Each week think of any of the above to make your 3 to counteract one negative opportunity/experience or interaction.

Train your brain to focus on the present what is the positivity you feel in the moment. Society measures success on getting better and better. If you are waiting to be happy it limits your brains potential for success. We constantly think there is a happiness horizon based on completion.

Take time to scan the positives. The chemical in the brain (dopamine) is what we release when we feel positive so measure how often you are releasing it:-

  • 3 gratitudes (what are you grateful for in your life? – focus on what you have not what you lack?)
  • Journalling – daily/weekly record the positives (think of the 3:1 ratio)
  • Exercise – getting outside gives you a new perspective
  • Meditation – take time to do nothing
  • Random acts of kindness – rewiring your brain is about being optimistic for others

By doing these rituals you will be scanning for postivity.

Enjoy the week and stay positive, please get in touch for one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact

You are enough…

Listening to a podcast on the Kindness Economy they were talking about the importance of the right language to sell your product. There is a skincare company called “Unconditional Skincare” which has removed all the stereotypical language used in the beauty industry.

“Quick fix”

“Repairing”

“Anti-ageing”

They believe and say “Your skin is enough.

“We believe all skin has the potential to glow at its healthy, radiant best when given the live goodness it needs”

The power of the messaging and also the kindness will grow self esteem instead of crushing confidence.

Framing any message in a positive has got to be a better than starting with a negative. We are now in the business of followers rather than customers. Therefore we need listen to what they are saying. We can use our values as guides as to how we talk and share.

At nuggets we encourage and value the ability to think differently, so therefore our messaging is around what it gives you. We don’t want to fix your thinking we encourage you to see, hear and feel things differently which might ultimately make you think differently.

You are enough is such a great message to say to yourself today, you can go out there and embrace anything and everything as you are enough.

Have a great week and reach out for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the moment…

Listening to Clare Balding talking about Emma Raducanu’s performance, she said one of the keys to her success and demeanour was always being in the moment. When the two players appeared in the tunnel before the game, Raducanu was in that moment. When she had three championship points she was in at that moment. When she won had to be interviewed by the press she was in that moment.

As a professional athlete only focusing on everything moment by moment and not even thinking the unthinkable, kept Raducanu’s feet on the ground.

The right mindset of having that narrow focus is something you can learn and manage. In Steve Peter’s book “The Chimp Paradox” he talks about managing the Chimp which effectively is your emotional brain. We can manage it by rewards, or ignoring the negative self talk and when appropriate let it play and having the right emotions at the right time.

Living moment by moment can help especially in turbulent times. Last week I received some sad news, and the art of processing was to focus on the next hour. Life moves forward and to contain the emotions focusing on short bursts of time gives you the stability and courage to move forward.

The Chimp needs immediate happiness and delayed happiness. If you write a list of all the things that give you immediate happiness you can really enjoy the moment you are in with them. For example the mid morning coffee, the walk in the afternoon or the book you are enjoying before you sleep. As humans we like to look to the future and the moment you choose to write down your ideas for delayed happiness is as good as moment as any. The joy of writing all sorts of possibilities will be a lovely escapism for the mind.

My coach recently talked about your day being 21 packets of time. The packets are am/pm/evening and think about the packets as moments. Ensure 2 packets are just about you, with the things that give you joy.

Be in the moment today. Look at your schedule and be there for that meeting, ensure you are in the moment (don’t turn your screen off, be there for others and for you).

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