Seasonal Adjustment Tips

future and pastIt’s summer and the living is easy.

It’s fall and you are preparing to ramp up.

It’s winter and the days are short and dreary.

It’s spring and you long for sunshine and the lazy days ahead.

Well, that takes care of another year and the accompanying seasonal blocks. Of course your excuses may be more elaborate yet the result is the same; no action plan and an abundance of self-judgment for dessert. A less than nourishing meal for anyone, in fact, it is a recipe for continued inertia topped with a hint of boredom as a chaser.

“Life is a one-way street. No matter how many detours you take, none of them leads back. Once you know and accept that, life becomes much simpler.” – Isabel Moore

Have you been sleepwalking through your life, waiting for the next thing to happen, only to react when “it” inevitably does? You see, there are only two ways to face the future; with apprehension or with anticipation. Add avoidance to the mix and you are looking right into the yawning face of fear, fear that you may lose control, fail and more. We create multiple ways to manage what is yet to happen and spend so much time living in the future that we may miss the present entirely. The analysis paralysis is a common default behavior for women in particular.

Picture this scenario. Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?

Answer: Five! It’s the difference between deciding and doing

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be?

It’s been said that there are 3 kinds of people in the world.

1. Those who wait for things to happen

2. Those who make things happen

3. Those who wonder what happened?

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be NOW!

Changing your mindset is not like changing your shirt. Preliminary to making a change is choosing a goal, creating a plan and committing to a course of action. Having good intentions does not get the job done and it is far too easy to lapse back into old actions that supported old behaviors. Once you set the intention, you must schedule the actions and honor the intention to incorporate change into your revised routine. Your calendar, like your road map is the tool you will use for incorporating new activities/destinations that resonate for YOU into your master plan.

Our thoughts determine our feelings and hence, our actions. When we remain in the present and not the future land of worry we can refocus our energies to better serve us.

According to Marshall Goldsmith, author and speaker, “MOJO is that positive spirit that starts inside you and radiates to the outside. You know your MOJO is peaking when you are experiencing happiness and meaning in what you are doing and communicating to the world around you!”

Check-in with yourself. What is the season of your greatest contentment? What if you could expand the feelings associated with that time beyond the traditional calendar months? What do you need right now to make the present your favorite time of year? For example, taking a summer course might be a burden to some, yet to others, it is an opportunity to get a jump start on preparations for the fall. Or you might know that in the past, you have been most inspired when outdoor activities are limited and as a result, there are fewer distractions to tackle a major project. Remember, just as some of us thrive on seasonal changes, others may require a tangible connection to what will serve our long term goals and plan accordingly.

Identify what you need right now. Perhaps this is your season for recharging, reshaping and recognizing that it is a “time out” from traditional work and you are best served by the break. On the other hand, if try as you might, you cannot access your MOJO despite your best efforts, consider these techniques as you create your customized low tech roadmap:

Music – listen to old favorites or for a real change, listen to tunes from a friend’s downloads
Movement – get going – even moderate activity can shift your perspective
Memories – bring out the photo albums for a fresh look and addition of new pictures
Mood– can be influenced by these modest behavioral changes

Remember, while your season may not correspond with the traditional calendar year it doesn’t mean you are out of sync. The challenge is to identify when you are most energized and adjust accordingly. After all, who couldn’t benefit from a personalized approach to the 4-seasons!

©MWeisner2014

Set Your Intention

266Woman-Head-SpinningAs the holiday season approaches, some of us anticipate them gleefully and others with nerve wracking dread. How will I fit even more into my already jam packed schedule? It’s simply impossible to add another thing to an ever growing list. Everyone expects me to manage it all!

Here’s another perspective. Stop doing something. Whether it is hosting a family dinner, sending holiday cards or spending beyond your means, eliminate at least one activity that is no longer meaningful and inform those who will be affected in advance. Set your intention. Less stress for you also means less tension for your guests, family members, co-workers…your immediate world. Ask for help and take advantage of it. No one ever perished by eating desserts from a bakery rather than homemade treats.

Several years ago a colleague mentioned to me that she no longer looked forward to Thanksgiving dinner with her extended family. I asked her what in particular made her feel this way. Was it the shopping, cleaning, hosting, etc.? No, it was the time consuming stuffed celery preparation that put her on edge. Surprised as I was that a professional woman, managing teams of associates, had been taken down by a vegetable, I was even more curious. I asked her what had made this task so demanding. She described the process in painstaking detail. When I suggested a seemingly simple way to wash, cut and stuff said stalks, she was stunned and somewhat embarrassed. She said that she and her mother-in-law had always done it this way and she’d never thought about doing it differently. Perhaps in her early years as a young wife in the shadows of an experienced cook, she listened and followed her instructions without thinking, but liberation was at hand. In fact, when she hesitantly offered up the possibility of streamlining their technique, they both enjoyed a good laugh over it. How often do you check out and not question the rules, process, or activity you are engaged in? Is it your intention to not make waves and therefore, take a back seat by default? How can you be a better participant or leader while still being part of the team? When is your contribution well intentioned rather than a controlling behavior? Is it the activity itself or the people you are engaging with that is stressful?

• Choose one activity that you want to modify or eliminate
• Inform the people being impacted
• Anticipate possible push-back and script your response in advance
• Prepare for the possibility that no one except YOU really cares
• Enjoy the relief!

©MWeisner2015

Lost your MOJO? Check your GPS first!

route_iconIt’s summer and the living is easy.
It’s fall and you are preparing to ramp up.
It’s winter and the days are short and dreary.
It’s spring and you long for sunshine and the lazy days ahead.

Well, that takes care of another year and the accompanying seasonal blocks. Of course your excuses may be more elaborate yet the result is the same; no action plan and an abundance of self-judgment for dessert. A less than nourishing meal for anyone, in fact, it is a recipe for continued inertia topped with a hint of boredom as a chaser.

“Life is a one-way street. No matter how many detours you take, none of them leads back. Once you know and accept that, life becomes much simpler.” – Isabel Moore

Have you been sleepwalking through your life, waiting for the next thing to happen, only to react when “it” inevitably does? You see, there are only two ways to face the future; with apprehension or with anticipation. Add avoidance to the mix and you are looking right into the yawning face of fear, fear that you may lose control, fail and more. We create multiple ways to manage what is yet to happen and spend so much time living in the future that we may miss the present entirely.

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be?

It has been said that there are 3 kinds of people in the world.
1. Those who wait for things to happen
2. Those who make things happen
3. Those who wonder what happened

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be?

Changing your mindset is not like changing your shirt. Preliminary to making a change is choosing a goal, creating a plan and committing to a course of action. Having good intentions does not get the job done and it is far too easy to lapse back into old actions that supported old behaviors. Once you set the intention, you must schedule the actions and honor the intention to incorporate change into your revised routine. Your calendar, like your road map is the tool you will use for incorporating new activities/destinations that resonate for YOU into your master plan.

According to Marshall Goldsmith, author and speaker, “MOJO is that positive spirit that starts inside you and radiates to the outside. You know your MOJO is peaking when you are experiencing happiness and meaning in what you are doing and communicating to the world around you!”

Check-in with yourself. What is the season of your greatest contentment? What if you could expand the feelings associated with that time beyond the traditional calendar months? What do you need right now to make the present your favorite time of year? For example, summer school might be a burden to some, yet to others, it is an opportunity to get a jump start on preparations for the fall. Or you might know that in the past, you have been most inspired when outdoor activities are limited and as a result, there are fewer distractions. Remember, just as some of us thrive on seasonal changes, others may require a tangible connection to what will serve our long term goals and plan accordingly.

Identify what you need right now. Perhaps this is the season for recharging, reshaping and recognizing that it is a “time out” from traditional work and you are best served by the break. On the other hand, if try as you might, you cannot access your MOJO despite your best efforts, consider these techniques as you create your customized low tech roadmap:

Music – listen to old favorites or try listening to tunes from a friend’sdownloads
Movement – get going – even moderate activity can shift your perspective
Memories – bring out the photo albums for a fresh look and addition of new pictures
Mood– can be influenced by these modest behavioral changes

Share your successes with us. What worked for you?

©MWeisner 2014

Is Your Elephant Still in the Closet?

imagesWhat does your “elephant” look like? He’s not sitting in the middle of the room; the form that everyone ignores or steps over. I would venture to guess that yours is not a literal interpretation resembling a Disneyesque version of Dumbo. This is a much more sophisticated and metaphorical form. It could be anything from a strong image to something more symbolic of the things/beliefs that may be holding you back. Early on we take in information that supports us as well as that which can be central to stopping us. For example, the screaming parent of the 5-year old who blocked you from riding your bicycle into the street may be behaving very appropriately. In this example, she was acting in the interest of your safety. To extrapolate from that incident that you are not trustworthy or it is never safe to ride a bicycle in the street or that you make poor decisions or even that you can never master a skill appropriately…that is the trap. Conversely, if the message you take forward as an adult is that there is a learning curve and it may be different for all of us, you may be more patient with yourself and with others. Taking proper safety precautions might include scheduling lessons with an instructor or ensuring that a facility is licensed. If you have limited your physical activities for fear of being injured or you lack confidence in your athletic abilities, it’s time to check in with your closet elephant again. Keep in mind that he/she may be very convincing; that in fact its presence is all for the sake of protecting you. While the intention is not in and of itself malicious, it is very keen to maintain the status quo, and that is not in your best interest.

If your elephant is still in the closet:
• Stop taking peeks
• Open the door
• Coax him/her out with a handful of peanuts

Oftentimes, the simple act of bravely confronting what you deem to be so uncomfortable is a huge step in calming the messages down. In my case, the day prior to any speaking engagement is the time when I hope the organization will call to cancel. It is reminiscent of school days and praying for a snowstorm. In the beginning, these thoughts took longer to manage, but after years of doing the work that I love, speaking to groups, those feelings no longer hold the power they once did. In fact, I often smile noting that they are something to acknowledge and release; not unlike an old friend checking in on my evolving growth. As you too reframe, adapt and adjust, that elephant will take up so much less room in the closet that you may actually be able to use it for storage.