Savor the Present Moment

 Increase Your Happiness with this Technique

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After battling pneumonia, I was recently on vacation in the islands.  I had one focus: to enjoy the present moment.

That’s not quite as easy as it sounds. Our brains are wired to continually think, and many of us project about the future (work, money, family, commitments, etc.)

But I tried hard to silence my brain and just be.  Looking at the exquisite turquoise water, I absorbed the beauty.  Walking past a brilliantly hued hibiscus, I appreciated the vibrant color.  Listening to chattering  parrots, I enjoyed their unique way of communicating.  And a funny thing happened.  I became more peaceful inside.  I truly relaxed and felt the simple joy of the moment.

 

A new study featured in this month’s Prevention magazine explains it: Savoring the moment rather than analyzing or critiquing it gives you a huge boost in happiness.  So what does savoring look like?  Part childlike exuberance with whooping or whee kind of glee, and part adult wisdom of “enjoy life while you can.”  This meant all the more to me since I had just been so gravely ill, but it worked.  For the most part, I spent all vacation in the present moment and it brought me such joy and peace.  So yes – your life can be better right now: just savor the present moment.

 

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Start the Year with the End in Mind

Fired Up fireworksIt’s now 2013.  For just a moment, pretend it’s New Year’s Eve 2013 and you are looking back over your year.  What great successes have you had?  What new relationships?  What have you accomplished that was truly meaningful for you?

Start your year with the end in mind.  How do you want your life to be?

• physically- healthy, fit and strong?

• emotionally- joy and happiness in life and your relationships? positive outlook?

• spiritually- peace and well-being, connection to something greater?

• financially- abundant, prosperous, generous, free?

• mentally- stimulated, challenged, creative, open?

Add in the words that are right for you and make a plan to create that in your life.
People who have written goals are far more successful than those who don’t. Give some serious consideration to what is important to you and make plans to achieve that.  You can do it- you have infinite skills, talents and resources. 

 

©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Overcoming the Stress of Holidays

Stress Express; Family Fighting

You Can Overcome Holiday Stress

All too often the pressure of meals, gift-giving, family dynamics and time management get to be too much.  Here’s how to prevent and beat that  holiday stress.
 
• Ask for help. If you are cooking a holiday meal, don’t do it all.  Be specific and ask each guest to bring something you need.  It will lighten your load and expense.

 Use your neighborhood grocery- many will make all elements of your meal, or you can buy pre-made side dishes and desserts to save time and hassle.
 
• Do something untraditional- like Mexican or Italian

• Consider not doing the family thing.  A coaching client of mine was dreading the negativity that their family regularly spews at holiday functions.  I coached them to go on a vacation with their children.  It worked out great and everyone was relaxed.
 
• Put the battles aside for one day.  Vow to forgive and bite your tongue and change the conversation when it gets sensitive or controversial.

  

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Helping Others in a Crisis

When a crisis occurs, whether a sudden storm, hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even car accident, people often wonder how they can help.  And while donating to relief organizations is fine, your actions can make a huge difference.  Here are a few ways to help:
 
• Reach out - check in regularly with those you know have experienced trauma or damage. Show them your love and caring, mail them food and toys for the kids, call often and give hugs.
 
• Refuel- many people without power are at risk of cold, starvation and dehydration.  If you have a generator or extra food and water, share with others.
 
 Routine- help others get back to some of their regular routines. Even small rituals are soothing and bring back a sense of familiar
 
• Renew- if live you close by and your loved ones are in trouble, invite them to stay with you or at least have some meals at your home while they sort everything out
 
• Rebuild - you may not be a general contractor, but you can help save someone thousands of dollars by organizing  your friends, getting some gloves and removing damaged walls etc
when it is safe.We recently experienced a big problem with mold and having friends come over and help move our furniture out was a huge help.
 
• Spend time listening.  Often the shock of an act of nature takes days and weeks to set in.
Be there for them and offer hope. People in crisis can go into depression very easily.
 
• Change their mindset - give them new things to think about, share good news of things they can look forward to, focus on the improvements.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Add “New” to Fire Up! Your Life

Keep Your Life Fresh by Trying New Things

Brendon Burchard in his new book The Charge has some great suggestions about staying Fired Up!  Something you may not have thought of is trying new things.  The brain is hardwired for novelty and challenge and needs to be engaged to keep thriving.  Here are a few ways to incorporate new into your life:
 
• 90 day getaway - every 90 days go away and explore someplace you have not been, doing new activities. It does not have to be expensive- it just needs to be different.
 
• Restaurant tour; explore restaurants you have never visited, try different kinds of food

• Spend time with new people - go to different networking or social events and broaden your circle. 
 
• Develop new skillsets - my husband and I just installed a new glass tile backsplash in our kitchen.  It was challenging but fun, and we love the results.
 

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Your Favorite Activities Are Clues About Your Dreams

What Do You Do For Fun?

One of the best ways to learn about your dreams is to consider what you love doing. It’s amazing the kind of information you can discover about yourself when you take a few minutes to list your favorite activities and how often you do them . If you want to have some fun and learn more about yourself, take ten minutes now to do  complete the list called “My Favorite Activities.”

Make a list from 1-5 . On the left put down your favorite activities and on the right put down how long it’s been since you did it, the cost of it.

Ex:
1. go to beach                          yesterday                 free
2. comedy club                       2 months                 $20
3. girlfriend time                   2 weeks                    free 

Most people discover that what they love to do is free, and can be scheduled at the last minute.  Good to know, hum?

People who are the happiest and most at peace in their lives regularly schedule what they enjoy doing. They spend more of their time being “Fired Up!” and that joy shines through all areas of their lives. They have acknowledged their goals and dreams and are doing whatever it takes to accomplish them.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Are You Badmouthing Yourself?

Stop Judging and Criticizing Yourself

Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressOne of the most destructive habits so many of us have is judging ourselves when we make a mistake and badmouthing ourselves. It’s been said we have between 40,000 and 50,000 thoughts a day and that 75-85% of those thoughts are negative.  Everyone has some kind of voice that tries to hold them back. Replace that voice with positive self-talk and take action anyway, no matter what the negative voice says. When you catch yourself berating yourself, say “Stop” or “Deflect” and replace it with a positive thought or statement about yourself.  Recall past successes, times when you felt valued and appreciated, were effective at work.  Focus on those good thoughts and drown out the old judgmental voices, whether yours or from your childhood.  You can overcome anything and be as successful as you choose.
 
” To discover your potential, reject the negative programming
all of us are exposed to.

Robert Schuller

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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More Vacation Days = Better Productivity

Stress Tip: Take More Time Off

At the company Red Frog, the CEO gives his employees unlimited time off.  That’s right- unlimited time off.  AnAnd it’s never abused or taken for granted.  Because more time off means greater productivity.  You have time to recharge and renew; creativity abounds and you return to work with a good attitude, ready to take on challenges.In 2011, 70% of Americans did not take all their allotted vacation time (Right Management).  Managers: take note – this is not a good idea. Encourage your people to take all their time off, and consider giving them more.  You may just find you have even greater success and better results.

 

And if you are an entrepreneur, you may be afraid to take time off, but that’s the opposite of what you should be doing. Dan Sullivan runs a Toronto company called Strategic Coach and he requires his clients to take several vacations each year. In a survey of 3000 clients, Sullivan found that after 3 years, each client had doubled their annual free days and doubled their income!

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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What You Focus On You Create

Choose Wisely

From Stress Express, image of messy home office

Energy follows thought so you really want to be careful where you put your thoughts.  If you are worried about paying bills and all you see in front of you is a mess and a stack of bills like those shown here, it’s hard to focus on anything else.  And the problem with that is you attract more of the same.

Instead, clear off your desk, put the clutter away, put the bills in a file and focus on what you are grateful for.  Focus on your health, your friends and family, your loved ones, your home, your pets. your gifts and talents.  Put your attention on WHAT YOU WANT.  Create a dream collage and imagine yourself living in better circumstances, being happy and able to pay your bills with ease.  Shift out of the negative into the positive and then take action accordingly.  It can make a huge difference in your life.

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: http://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html

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Are You Out of Time?

Time Management for Superstressed People – Part I

Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressIn this age of constant information, over scheduled lives and frenetic activity, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you DO have control over your own time.  If you’re a parent, you probably don’t feel that way, but there are definitely steps you can take to make the difference in your life and schedule.

First, as Tony Jeary writes in his book, Finding 100 Extra Minutes a Day, ask yourself “What is the greatest use of my time right now?”several times throughout the day.  Make sure it is the highest leveraged, biggest ROI activity you can make it. And that does not mean necessarily a financial ROI.  It could be an emotional ROI where you spend much needed time with a neglected loved one.

Prioritize your week’s schedule according to your top priorities, which have the biggest leverage.  Make everything else work around those priorities, whenever possible. If you know you have to take your son to soccer practice two days a week, plan to bring your laptop or iPad and do work while waiting.  Maximize your time so when he comes off the field, you can focus on him.

Get in the habit of saying no.  Don’t over schedule yourself.  My brother had been shuttling his son to 2-3 different sports throughout the week, taking up way to much time.  They let him pick the sport and now it is down to one.  My brother and his wife have much more time to tend to their priorities.  You will, too, once you make decisions that support what is best for the entire family.

Part 2 on Wed.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. 
No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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