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3 Hacks to Be a Better You

3 Hacks to Be a Better You


    We should always work to be better people. We have the tools, and they shouldn’t be wasted. How you decide to become a better person is up to you. It may mean being a better spouse, parent, sibling, son, or daughter. Perhaps it means being a better provider, a better employee, or a better employer. No matter what it means to you, it means work. One should not shy away from the work that it takes to improve as a person. With that said, if you need a little direction then here are 3 hacks to be a better you:

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    1. Diet and Exercise

    Are you tired of hearing this? There’s a reason that you see and hear it everywhere. It works. No one says that you should look like a perfect genetic specimen, and no one expects you to. Being in good physical condition, however, is one of the biggest keys to being a better you. It helps you to feel better about yourself. Not only does it boost your confidence, but you feel better physically and mentally. Of course there are the numerous health benefits that come from diet and exercise too.

    “Diet” doesn’t mean that you have to go on some crazy fad diet where you cut out solid food and implement a liquid-only diet, or that you have to eat only 200 calories a day until you starve yourself into a size 0 hospital gown. It means maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. Half of it is common sense, really. Don’t eat that half pound slice of German Chocolate Cake. Reach for the yogurt instead. Have some fresh fruit instead of those greasy potato chips. Don’t eat before bed. The simplest things can make such a big difference.

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    In that same vein, “exercise” doesn’t mean that one has to train for a triathlon. It simply means that people should stop spending so much of their free time on the sofa. Do some aerobics or yoga, go for a jog, or do something to remind your heart that sometimes it needs to shift gears before it forgets how to.

    2. Focus on Fulfillment

    Many people use such a variety of empty ways to pass time. They waste their time on so many things that don’t matter. I don’t think that I really need to give examples here, but a few things come immediately to mind, such as reading celebrity gossip and channel surfing the television.

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    Focus on activities that make you feel fulfilled. If you have kids, spend time with them, and make some memories. If you don’t have kids, why not plant a garden? Perhaps learning a new skill might interest you. You could learn to paint, cook, golf, ski, kayak, surf, or one of so many other options. The point is, find something to spend more of your free time doing that will create a much deeper sense of accomplishment and fulfillment within you, rather than being concerned about which celebrity just entered rehab, or which A-list couple just separated.

    3. Visualize What You Want to Do

    Visualization can help you achieve things by getting you in the proper mindset to do so. First, figure out exactly what you want to do in life and what you want to be. Do you need a career change? Is there a specific job that you want? Perhaps it’s something else, like you want to be a better parent, or you want to have more influence with your friends and family, at work, or in your community.

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    Whatever the case may be, determine what it is that you want, and visualize it. Not just once, but visualize it all the time. Every chance you get, and every time you think of it, visualize everything that you want. Visualize yourself doing, being, or getting that thing which you desire. Visualize yourself driving the new car that you’re going to buy after you land that new job. Visualize yourself living the lifestyle that you want after you make that career change. Visualize yourself being a better parent or having more influence, and the potential results of those. An excellent example of this (and I do not take credit for this – it has been used before, but it’s a very effective example), is to recall a time when you put a puzzle together.

    When you visualize not only the end goal, but the results and provisions that will come from it, it will help motivate you to start working toward that goal. Your thoughts and actions will begin to calibrate and align with that target, and you’ll be on your way to achieving it. Often, the only thing holding a person back… is that person. Don’t let that be you. Go after whatever it is that you want. You deserve it. But you should start by visualizing it!

    (Photo credit: Good, Better, Best via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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