10 Health Strategies To Have An Amazing 2017 Professionally and Personally!

Welcome to this edition of the Take Charge of Change podcast. In the podcast, I will out- line 10 health strategies that will help you boost physical resilience for a great 2017.

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One – Get your sleep. Just as a healthy diet and regular exercise are necessary and essential for good health, so is sleep. Cutting back on snooze-time can lead to an out-of-control appetite (some studies show that people who sleep less are more likely to be overweight), a greater risk for coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So try to get the recommended eight hours of sleep needed for good health, safety, and optimum performance.

Two – Rise and shine — and eat. Breakfast gets your body’s metabolism going again after a night of sleeping, and gives you the gradual and adequate energy you need to get through the morning. You don’t have to eat snacks to supplement your energy needs and expenditure. It doesn’t have to be complicated too. Microwave instant oatmeal, topping it with skim milk or yogurt and berries; in minutes, you’ll enjoy filling fiber with a protein and vitamin boost. Hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain toast with almond butter or a fruit and yogurt smoothie are also quick, nutritious choices.

Three – Wash your hands. From banishing cold and flu germs to preventing foodborne illnesses, frequent hand-washing is one of the smartest preventive habits you can adopt. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling food, eating, or touching your face, and after using the bathroom or coming into contact with potentially contaminated objects such as doorknobs, toys, and menus.

Four – Know your family health history. Your family’s medical history can give you valuable information about your health. Many diseases, such as heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and depression, can have a genetic component. The more you know about the health of your relatives, the better informed you’ll be about your risk factors and how to manage them.

Five – Eat mindfully. One of the significant differences between people who successfully manage their weight and people who regularly struggle is mindful eating. Turn off the TV or computer, sit down at a table with your food on a plate, and focus on eating. Savor the smell and enjoy the taste. Put your fork down between bites, and take the time to enjoy your meal. Chances are you will eat less and feel more satisfied.

Six – Add variety to your diet. Wild salmon and sardines are just a couple of the fish that provide heart-healthy fats such as omega-3, which lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and help preserve your cognitive function. Aim for two servings a week; more than that may add too much mercury to your system. On occasion, indulge in a glass of red wine (or any alcoholic beverage) or a bite of dark chocolate that contains at least 75% cocoa-both contain antioxidants that can benefit your heart. Also, both may relax blood vessels, which reduces clotting somewhat and makes it easier for blood to get to the heart. And finally, try to eat 5-7 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, and minimize your intake of carbohydrates.

Seven – Volunteer. In addition to helping others, volunteers themselves often benefit from “giving back” to the communities in which they live and work and enjoy a rewarding sense of doing something good for someone else. As a volunteer, you gain valuable experience, learn new skills, make friends and meet others who share the same interests. 8Maintain strong family and social networks. Research has shown that people who have family and friends they can turn to for support and companionship may be healthier and less likely to experience depression than those who spend most of their time alone. Looking for new friends? Join a club, take a class or volunteer.

Nine – Take a time out. At least once a day, close your eyes and focus on taking ten deep, full breaths. Inhale through your nose, feel your diaphragm expand, and exhale through your mouth. Deep, focused breathing slows your heart rate, calms the body and, as a result, calms your mind and reduces stress. Mix in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week as well. Choose something you enjoy and will stick to. Recent studies found that brisk walking is just as good for your heart as jogging, or try biking or swimming. You needn’t do it all at once; two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minutes blocks work equally well.

Ten – Drink more water to prevent constipation, dehydration, and other related diseases. Whether you drink bottled, filtered or tap, water helps keep your cells hydrated, flushes out toxins and prevents dehydration. Tea, juices, and sports drinks count, too, but watch out for added sugar, artificial flavorings, and caffeine, all of which can detract from the benefits.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the podcast. If you want to help your staff or teams enhance professional and personal productivity, be sure to contact us. We would love to start a conversation.

You can download the free eBook, The Resilient Professional at the end of this post.

The Resilient Professional eBook

The Intersection of Energy & Responsibility – It’s Critical To Understand!

In our professional journey, we start off with dreams for the future and the required energy to begin the process and steps that will lead us to the future that we desire.

Unfortunately, too many professionals flame out just when they hit their peak powers of professional competence. Why does this happen? Shaun will unpack this critical transition point and how it should shape your approach to professional development.

Be sure to download The Resilient Professional eBook. It’s packed full of information that will help you to maximize your professional impact and extend your career.



7 Strategies That Will Make Your 2017 Extraordinary!

Welcome to this edition of the Take Charge of Change podcast. In the podcast, I will out- line seven strategies that will help you to plan for a great 2017.

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  1. Resolve any unfinished personal issues this month. If 2017 is going to be amazing, you’ll need to drive it forward in a focused manner.  Unresolved issues sap energy and create a distraction. Take action to resolve conflicts with people who support you. Look inward to determine where you have conflicted with yourself. Set time aside to consider, commit and be accountable for your preferred future
  1. Take stock of all your opportunities. As soon as the year starts, you’ll likely get right into daily work patterns that went on hiatus during the holidays.  If buried in the day to day, you may gloss over great opportunities only visible from a high level.  Use the holiday down time to reflect, and to make a list of every potential opportunity that can improve your life and business.
  1. List three obstacles you can reasonably eliminate. Many of life’s obstacles aren’t complicated or even difficult to overcome, but they do require focus and commitment. Start by honestly assessing 2016 to determine who or what got in the way of your success. Chances are a few of these same obstacles are threatening your happiness in 2017 as well.  Pick three that you can work on over the next 90 days and get a jump on them. Start with the obstacles where you have the most control: your bad habits.
  1. List five people you are committed to meet. Somewhere out there are people who can help you.  They may be role models, mentors, referral sources or even new partners. These people can help take your performance and rewards to a whole new level. The only reason they don’t do it now is that you haven’t built a relationship of mutual value.
  1. Identify critical skills to master. Most of us are the happiest learning. Learning a challenging skill boosts confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment. Figure out a couple of new skills that will increase your profile and usefulness to those around you.  Budget the time in 2017 to ensure you have the necessary hours to make it happen.
  1. Schedule calendar time in January with those you value the most. Everyone is busy during the holidays. End-of-year commitments, holiday parties, and travel to see family can all keep people from having quality one-on-one time. There are people in your life who bring you joy, learning, and growth. Time with them is precious and sparse. Reach out to them today and get a January lunch on the calendar before year-end.
  1. Plan an Amazing New Year’s Eve. There’s a good reason New Year’s Eve is the only holiday celebrated by nearly everyone on the same day worldwide, regardless of nationality, race or religion. It is a celebration of new beginnings.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the podcast. If you want to help your staff or teams enhance professional and personal productivity, be sure to contact us. We would love to start a conversation.

You can download the free eBook, The Resilient Professional at the end of this post.

The Resilient Professional eBook

Creating Media and a Tech-Free Zones

In this edition of the Take Charge of Change podcast, we will discuss why creating technology and media free zones is critical to your personal and professional success.
The thousand channel universe, social media, and technology are all crying out for attention. Many social scientists and psychologists would argue that the human brain was never meant to function in a 24/7 news and information age. There may be positives attached to these technologies, but there are significant negatives as well. There are much-needed cognitive practices and strategies that we need to learn to ensure that we are not derailed intellectually, emotionally and relation-ally during this exploding information and technology age.

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Let’s talk about the impact of media. Your brain has a couple of small, almond-shaped structures called the amygdala. The amygdala’s primary role is to attune us to potential danger. It’s a part of the brain that triggers the fight or flight response. That part of the brain that gets you ready to run from the tiger. Unfortunately, the amygdala has a tough time differentiating between real threats and perceived threats. Because of this, it’s important to understand the connection between the microchip, technology, the proliferation of information, the drive for viewership by the media and how these factors and can lead to overwhelm and diminished capacity.

Media’s job is to perpetuate anxiety in our lives on a day-to-day basis so that we will pay attention to the news information that they are churning out. News outlets know we pay way more attention to the negative stuff. Much of this information is not relevant to our day-to-day lives. In fact, we could ignore it for weeks or months without it having a significant impact on our lives. However, when we expose ourselves to this media content, we drive the amygdala into action. As the amygdala is activated, one of the results is the diminished capacity of the prefrontal cortex, the logical thinking and planning part of our brain. We begin to experience increased surges of adrenaline throughout the body; we lose our ability to see the broad range of options needed to make good quality decisions, and our focus begins to narrow. Decision-making and compromised reasoning skills!

So, what are some strategies you can use to fight this secret war that is waging against your peace of mind?

First – Question Quantity

Ask yourself the question, “Am I consuming too much media?” If you are like many people, media and technology have likely become constant companions. You wake up to the radio, there’s news on your smartphone, you hear it on your drive to work, you unconsciously view news sites on your computer, it’s on the radio again during dinner, it’s on the TV or your computer during the evening. Your brain and its poor little amygdala don’t stand a chance! Low-grade anxiety will likely arrive, and your view of the world will become negatively skewed, and your overall health is degraded. So step one, look at ways of reducing media consumption.

Second – Create Media Free Zones

Consider media free zones. As a start, get all media out of the bedrooms. Make the bedroom a sanctuary from all the crazy noise out there. No computers, smartphones or iPads. Replace these things with great books. Quality sleep is critical. Without it, your mental, physical, emotional and professional life will suffer.

Third. – Keep Dinner Tech-Free

Make the dinner table a media and technology free zone. That doesn’t mean you don’t talk about current affairs. In fact, that would be a great idea. It prompts you to discuss current events in a more substantive way than the five-second sound bites offered by the media, and it’s a great way to build those meaningful relationships. When you go out for dinner, keep the phone in your jacket. The calls and messages can wait.

Forth – Work More Wisely

At work, consider media free zones. Start having meetings and discussions that involve no technology. This approach will lead to less distraction, and maybe your discussions will be more productive. When in a presentation put the phone away. Show some courtesy to the presenter, and maybe you’ll learn something. When in a board meeting leave your phone in your office. Direct your full attention to the discussion. Maybe you’ll learn something and make a contribution.

Fifth – People First

In your conversations with people, make it a point to ignore the technology. The e-mails and calls will still be there when you’ve completed the interaction. Nothing affirms people more than placing your entire focus on them when in conversation. When going out for dinner, eating meals with family or going out for coffee with a friend put the phone away. Break your habit of having to get your dopamine fix by being on your phone all the time. Use these times to focus on people and relationships – not the phone

That concludes this edition of the take charge of change podcast. I hope you found this content helpful. To dig deeper into the whole topic of personal, professional resiliency be sure to download our free e-book – the resilient professional.

The Resilient Professional eBook

If you manage staff or teams don’t hesitate to reach out to us would welcome a conversation about how we can develop customized programs to enhance both personal and professional resiliency for your staff.



Discomfort Makes You Stronger

Welcome to this edition of the Take Charge of Change podcast.  Today we’ll look about discomfort and how discomfort is a critical factor in the formation of strong character a prerequisite for building professional and personal resilience

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You know, when you think about it, if nature hadn’t tested us we wouldn’t have developed ways to protect ourselves against the forces of nature and to build convenience and more hospitable living environments. Now despite these modern conveniences, life today, in some respects, is similar to what is used to be. And what I mean is, the bad things we experience in our daily lives can make us stronger and can prepare us to be more able to deal with similar problems in the future. Two thousand years ago the Stoic philosophers Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius proposed imposing mild self discomfort to prepare themselves for inevitable adversity that would arrive in our lives and to develop more appreciation for the blessings we often take for granted. Most people have heightened levels of self-discipline when things are going well. But during times of trial and adversity our discipline muscles are pushed to the limits. In advance of challenge, it’s important  to increase your capacity to deal with challenges by introducing mild discomforts and incremental challenge into our life. If we do this, we are more apt not to be taken off course when challenges of a significant nature hit our lives.

So what are some things you can do to introduce discomfort into your life to make yourself stronger? Well, consider taking a five minute cold shower as a way of growing your discomfort muscle. What about fasting. Do you think you would be uncomfortable going without eating for one or two days? Of course you would. Not only can this discipline make your interior strength stronger but you will more fully appreciate the blessings of great food that’s all around you.

Take an inventory. What are the circumstances or situations that cause you to falter. And two, who are the people or things or circumstances that can potentially make you stronger?

Brainstorm ideas that create inconvenience and discomfort. Consider introducing them into your life to make you more resilient

– walk to work instead of driving

– go camping in the wilderness

– go without technology for today

– live like a miser for a week

– stop your morning coffee for a week

– intentionally engage with difficult people at work

By introducing these challenges into your week you will begin to inoculate yourself. You can become stronger in advance of more serious challenges that come your way.

Download our free e-book the Resilient Professional to get more information on strategies to make you resilient professionally and personally. Contact us if you’d like to start a conversation about how we can help your staff and teams to be more personally and professionally resilient.

The Resilient Professional eBook