Life’s Changes

by Cynthia Bischoff on September 25, 2016

At varying times in our lives, we arrive at a place in our psychological/spiritual development in which we begin to feel that our outer world may not be supporting our inner world. This causes us to pay attention and make changes.

When we reach these junctures, certain feelings may arise:

  • we may feel unfulfilled or bored;
  • we may find that we have unrealistic expectations;
  • we may have an overly negative attitude;
  • we may feel uninterested in our life situation;
  • we may have work or family difficulties that were not expected.

It is at these times that we are often ready for change or what has been termed a “rebirth.” Our old compasses may no longer work and the new compass needs to be held differently. It may be a time to revisit our intentions and goals in order to course correct.

Also, throughout our lifetime, we must recognize that things cannot stay the same. Part of life involves change and growth. How else are we to learn?

So we can ask ourselves some questions:

  • “How might I see or participate in my current circumstances differently?”
  • “What am I avoiding feeling or doing and how might I embrace this?”
  • “Am I willing to change, and if so, how?”
  • “What have I not yet ‘become’ and am I willing to embrace this now?”
  • What plan might I create for myself and how can I take my first step?”

As we then embrace this time, instead of resisting the feelings and circumstances, we can see it as a twist or turn on life’s path that takes us into new realms that can further our life lessons.

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Ending Procrastination

by Cynthia Bischoff on September 18, 2016

The dictionary defines procrastination as “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.”

Now everyone has procrastinated at some point or delayed taking action in a certain situation, but when procrastination becomes a real issue, it can seriously affect your performance and, in turn, all areas of your life.

Perhaps you miss opportunities because you delay taking action– or you receive late notices because you don’t pay your bills on time. Maybe you delay starting a work project until the deadline is immediate. Or you leave your gift shopping until the last minute.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Before we can look at a technique to change this behavior, it’s important to consider just a few reasons why you may procrastinate.

First, you may decide that tomorrow seems like a better day to get started– or if you can’t give something a lot of time (like the whole day), there’s no sense in getting started.

This is really a stalling response because you don’t feel like doing the activity.

People who might be termed “feel good” types—where feeling good or enjoying something is most important to them—are often procrastinators. They are looking for instant good feelings rather than a delayed gratification that comes from doing the task and not feeling good now at this moment– but feeling good later when the task is completed.

The trouble is that if you delay doing the task, if you’re a feel-good type, you probably won’t feel any more like doing it tomorrow than you did today.

Second, many procrastinators tell themselves that they work better under pressure. These people are often perfectionists. Did you know that perfectionism and procrastination go hand in hand?

You see, by waiting, you may be giving yourself permission to limit the amount of time you have to work on something and, therefore, giving yourself the excuse of accepting the end result based on not having enough time to make it perfect! You get yourself off the “it has to be perfect” hook. And you may even get a rush out of the last-minute push while settling for whatever the end product becomes.

And there’s still another type of procrastinator: Some people avoid doing the task because they are what I call “decision-impaired”—and by that I mean that they have difficulty making a decision because they’re concerned about making the wrong decision. Of course, they forget that not deciding or delaying too long can create a decision.

So, to end the procrastination game, you have to understand that you’re probably getting some kind of pay-off from that behavior, like those we’ve mentioned, or you would be unlikely to continue to procrastinate.

You see, if you’re trying to change a behavior, but you ultimately (consciously or subconsciously) gain more from staying the same than from changing, you will find it more difficult to change that behavior. So you have to decide what the pay-off is.

Once you realize that the pay-off, such as feeling good, settling for less than a perfect result, or avoiding making a decision, doesn’t really benefit you ultimately, you can change what you’re doing.

Here are just a few tips:

First– just get started. Take a step. Don’t get hung up on how. Don’t look at the clock and decide that you don’t have enough time. Break your task into manageable steps and, seriously, just get started.

Second—if you’re a feel-good type who avoids getting started, you have to realize that when you tell yourself that you’ll feel more like doing your task later, that you’re lying to yourself. You’re actually going to feel really good when you complete the task. That’s the real feel-good time. So remain focused, willing, and committed to your goal.

And some people plan a reward that they will receive after the completion of the task which motivates them to keep going.

Above all, focus on taking action and keep yourself moving. You can change your motivation and the quality of your daily life!

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Let It Go!

September 11, 2016

Is there a personal pattern of behavior or a negative attribute that you desire to change? Here is a “letting go” ritual that may help you to facilitate the release and the change. Take some time to engage in a writing activity. Begin by writing down on a sheet of paper what you want to […]

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Living The Four Agreements

September 4, 2016

The Four Agreements, a best-selling book by Don Miguel Ruiz, suggests that four simple principles exist that, when lived, can change your life. Early on in life we develop concepts of what people and things are. We learn and are taught to judge ourselves and others. We are rewarded for following rules and often punished […]

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