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This Is How You Can Become The Stronger Version Of Yourself

This Is How You Can Become The Stronger Version Of Yourself

How To Become A Better, Stronger Version Of Yourself

At the end of every year, once the festivities have passed and preparations are underway to move past the last 12 months, it is natural to start thinking about new beginnings. Resolutions are made that you intend to keep throughout the year but almost always disappear by March or April. Promises are made to stop smoking, lose weight, argue less, spend less, save more and the list goes on. However, if you make one promise, whatever the time of year, make it ‘to be a better version of myself’.

Changing your outlook, your perceptions and your goals can have a huge impact on your life. Not only on your life, but the lives of those around you too. If you want to stop snapping at people, enjoy more time to do the things you enjoy and box off numerous other resolutions like losing weight and spending less money, then ultimately the changes have to be within yourself.

So where to begin? Below are some hints of where you can start the process but the list is not exhaustive, it is only the beginning – feel free to add your own ideas for becoming the person you know you can be.

Eat Healthier

Okay, you knew it would be on the list so we may as well begin with it. If you’re shoving stodge into your digestive system every day then you’re going to feel sluggish, lethargic and shattered. How easy do you think it is to be the best you can be when your body is trying to process loads of junk food?

It’s time to admit to yourself that if you’re going to be better on the outside, you need to be better on the inside.

Our bodies are not designed to cope with man-made substances and chemicals that are used to process and store food. Although convenient, tinned food and ready-made things have been through so much processing to keep them fresher for longer. Our bodies struggle to digest it all and the food gets trapped in our systems for longer than it should, causing bloating, gas, nausea, headaches and mood swings. Do you really want to put that stuff in your body?

You can have a very fulfilling diet and do your body a huge favor too. Choose from whole foods such as nuts and seeds, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole wheat and whole grain bread and pasta, seafood, organic meat and natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia.

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Your water intake is also incredibly important. Make sure you’re flushing your toxins out daily by drinking at least 8 glasses (or two liters) of water each day. This will keep your head clear, your skin blemish free and your kidneys healthy too.

Simplify Your Life

You know that when there’s a million and one things that you need to get done and you’re surrounded by clutter, you’re unable to focus on what actually needs doing. In the end nothing at all gets done and you face the same problem the following day, and then the day after that. You’ve probably been meaning to sort things out for ages, right? Well, well stop procrastinating! Write down everything you need to get done and then highlight your top ten tasks. Write these items on a separate list and do the same again but this time highlight your top five. Write these on a separate sheet of paper – these are the only tasks you need to focus on today.

Also, get a big bag and choose one corner of one room. Put things in it that you don’t use, don’t like or don’t want. Next, put things that do not belong in that corner in a box to sort later. Do this every day until every corner in every room has been cleared of clutter. At the end sort through the box of items that don’t belong and find new, tidy homes for them.

When you come home each day, your whole house will be free of clutter and you won’t have a to-do list as long as your arm.

The key is to break it down into manageable chunks. Make sure you stick to this rule as it will mean you will have more time to do the things you enjoy rather than feeling frazzled all the time.

Be Grateful

It’s surprising how much of our time is being flooded with adverts for all kinds of stuff, forcing us to believe we need to have it in our lives. How many times do you think “If only I could just win the lottery” or “If I buy that then my life will be better.” Instead of always waiting for the future, appreciate what you have in the here and now. Don’t just focus on possessions. When you go to bed each night, choose something or someone to speak to in your head. It could be God or the Universe, a loved one that has passed or your inner self. Once you have someone or something in mind, think of things that your are thankful for.

Examples could be:

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“Thank you for this warm bed that I am in whilst it is blowing a gale outside. Others are not so fortunate.”

“I am grateful for my health: that I have been able to get up and leave the house today while others are bedridden with pain or ill health.”

“Thank you for keeping me safe whilst driving today. Many people are involved in accidents every day and I was lucky to get home in one piece.”

If you have family, hug them a little tighter and be grateful that they are healthy. So many are suffering the loss of a loved or are going through the heartache of seeing someone suffer day after day, so put things into perspective and stop moaning about how the traffic was bad on the way home. Save that energy for positive things and positive thoughts.

You will find that as you start thinking of all of the things you appreciate, you will feel calmer and  less likely to take your loved ones for granted, which will result in more quality time with them.

Be In Contact With Your Family

There are many quotes about being able to choose your friends yet your family is a set of people that you’re stuck with for life. Some people find they have absolutely nothing in common once they mature and form their own path in the journey of life. However, if you have a family you like, there’s nothing better than spending a nostalgic afternoon with a sibling, parent or any member of the family. You will both have the same shared experiences whether it be family holidays or gatherings, so make the most of taking a trip down memory lane and remind yourself how important family are.

It is incredibly easy to get caught up in a busy life but if you genuinely want to become a better version of yourself, then it is time to do some selfless acts of kindness.

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If you have a grandparent who is alone and stuck in the same four walls every day, go and visit them as often as you can. When you’re older, you will be grateful to people who care enough to come and visit you and relieve the boredom of living at home by yourself.

If calling home is the last thing on your mind, make sure you bring it to the top of your priority list because nothing says you care more than taking some time out of your day to call someone to see how they are.

There are vast numbers of people brimming with regret following the funeral of a family member. They know they could have made more of an effort to see them more frequently. Don’t be one of those people.

Challenge Yourself – Leave Your Comfort Zone

In order to become a better version of yourself, it is necessary to come out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. When the mind is stretched a little, you will feel a buzz of excitement. There’s nothing like a little fear to wake up your senses.

There are so many skills to be learned in the world. Why not learn a new one? Perhaps learn a new language or start playing an instrument. It will be difficult at first but it will keep your mind focused.

Exercising your brain by learning new things will also improve your concentration skills and help you to sleep better, so choose something to sink your teeth into and leave your comfort zone behind for a while.

Set Clear Goals

Hectic lives mean things get overlooked or purposefully ignored, leading you to feeling useless and angry. It is very important that you have clear goals that you can see every day, so write them down and hang them in a room in your house that you go into often – maybe the kitchen or the bathroom.

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Your goals could be anything from “Purchase a sports car” to “Clean out the cupboard under the stairs.”

If you like you can set a time limit by which you want to achieve your goal by. It could be within a matter of days or it could be a particular age that you want to be, e.g. “Buy a sports car, age 50”

Next, write down the steps you need to take in order to reach that goal. So if it is purchasing a sports car when you’re 50 years old, work out how many months away that is and how much money you would need to save each month. Make a chart with a picture of the sports car at the top and boxes to represent each month you need to save money. When you save, tick a box and you will see your goal is getting nearer.

If your goal is more short term, like cleaning the cupboard out under the stairs, give yourself a little reward when you have accomplished your goal. Promise yourself little treats and you will be motivated to reach all of your goals sooner than you think.

Be Assertive

If you’re used to never voicing your opinion or saying what you are thinking, it’s time to make some changes. Studies have shown that assertive people are happier, healthier and have better relationships.

Make sure your body posture is helps you feel confident. Sit upright and raise your chin off your chest. Don’t mumble; say whatever you want politely and respectfully but loud enough to sound sure of yourself. Believe that you have a voice which should be heard. Don’t be afraid to say “No”. If you are up to your eyes in work and your boss asks you to to take on more, confidently say, “If I take any more work on, the quality of what I produce will be compromised, so it is best that the extra work is delegated to someone else at this moment.” In most cases your boss will appreciate your honesty and do as you suggest.

Thanks for reading and good luck for your journey ahead of becoming a better version of yourself.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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