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As a Mindset + Business Coach, the question I’m asked most often is:
“Janel, what’s the ONE THING I can do on a regular basis that’ll make the biggest positive difference in my life?”.
My answer? 100% your morning routine.
The things we do every day make a difference. They make a difference to our mental and physical health and wellbeing, to our mindset, and to how we head into and experience the day. It’s the “little things” we incorporate into our routines and practice every day that can make the biggest overall difference.
Now the tips and suggestions I’m about to share with you probably aren’t anything new. Many of us already KNOW the practices that are good for us, the trick is actually DOING those things.
Meditate, journal, exercise, eat well; we know these are building blocks to thriving and making us feel better. The difficulty is putting one foot in front of the other to get started… and then to keep it going.
Sometimes the biggest block is that it all just seems so overwhelming… if I'm going to start a new morning routine, then it means I have to get up at 5:00am. Then I need to spend an hour and a half doing ALL THE THINGS to fill my mind, move my body, and get ready mentally and physically for the day. And next? Wham, there's an extra hundred million things to add to an already full morning.
Enter your mind saying, “This is too hard. There’s too much to do. Forget it. No deal.”
First, don't think about the 50 million things you have to do tomorrow, this week, this month, etc…
Instead, focus on what you can do TODAY.
Focus on the one LITTLE thing you can do today, that can be incorporated and repeated tomorrow, and the day after. Focus on the ONE THING you can do today, incorporate it slowly and gently into your morning, and then become consistent at it over time.
If you have one of my Learn to Thrive journals you know all about incorporating small changes over time. I call the morning routine “Five to Thrive”, and once you’ve gently incorporated all five into your morning routine it will look like this:
Now you try.
Start with waking up just 10 minutes earlier tomorrow and choosing ONE THING (not ALL the things!) to add in.
After you’ve chosen this one thing, do it consistently for the next 30 days. Do this one thing (and only this one thing!) until you’re comfortable with it. Only when you’re comfortable with it is it time to incorporate something else.
So now that you’re comfortable with it, the next day you get up another 10 minutes earlier, and add ONE more thing, commit to it for the next 30 days, and so on.
Does this seem slow?
But see it’s all about baby steps and simplicity. No complexity and no overwhelm.
We’re aiming for one thing to be incorporated slowly and steadily over time. And the compound effect of this gentle routine on your mindset?
Trust me, it is truly, truly incredible.
You start feeling more comfortable and confident in yourself and in your days. You wake up each morning, practice your routine and eventually find that you feel amazing. You feel amazing and your days and weeks and months are running smoother because you've been meditating every day, been writing in your journal every day, been moving your body every day, been eating a nutritious breakfast every day, been listening to music every day.
This compound effect of all these “little things”? AMAZING!
Feeling motivated to get started? Do it!
Not so motivated? Don’t wait!
Why? Because you may never feel motivated to start, especially if it’s something new (or involves getting up earlier). Instead, take the leap, set your alarm, and jump in. Choose the one thing you’re going to start with and just start.
Will it be easy? Maybe. That’s why taking gentle steps over time helps.
But sometimes however you might need additional support along this morning routine journey. If this is the case, follow me at janelbriggs_thrive on Instagram and see how I use the "five to thrive " method or simply email me, email@example.com - I'd love to hear from you!
Take care, JB
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Stress is everywhere right?
It's in the work environment and home environment. It’s in our relationships with our partners, kids, bosses and colleagues. It’s in politics (hey there recent US election!), economics, world issues, and COVID-19. It’s all of THOSE issues triggering all of the stress our lives isn’t it?
YES, these external elements cause us stress, but guess what?
There’s another cause as well, and one that’s more hidden and personal.
This is the (daily) stress that comes from our OWN destructive thinking. Our own fearful, doubting, criticising, and second-guessing thoughts. It’s our negative mindset and perhaps lack of boundaries.
Step One: STOP
When we think these thoughts, or worse get them looping around in our heads, we need to STOP and not do anything at all. Why? Because this thinking often leads to feelings of lack, confusion, and discontent.
We become paralysed by our own doubtful thoughts and the stresses that come from these negative and often looping self-talk. We stay stuck battling inside our heads all day.
We feel and create that stuckness because we’re not moving forward and we're not moving back.
We’re half in and half out. Not committed and not rejecting it either.
And then we start with the shoulds. I should be doing this, I should be doing that… And then the shoulds build up… and then we cringe inside because we're unable to listen to the part of us that says, “Yes! Go do that thing that you want to do.”
Enter Step Two: OBSERVE
What if once you stopped you then became the observer of your thoughts? What if when you stopped you could catch that thought when it starts? What if you could catch it, observe it and work to reframe it and ask it where it comes from?
Let’s try it.
For one day (why not today?) decide that you’re going to be an observer of your thoughts. You’re going to catch just one negative thought before it spirals. You’re going to stop and follow it and keep following it until you know where it comes from. And once you know where it comes from, you’re going to explore it and be curious about why it’s here. And then you’re going to consider whether or not it’s a thought that tends to show up a lot in your life.
Another thing you could try is catching that negative thought and deciding to reframe it to a positive thought instead. Reframe it by taking the thought from “negative” or “bad” so that its context is changed so you can see the positive, or at least the neutrality of it.
Step Three: BOUNDARIES
In working with clients I’ve learned that it’s important to help them set healthy boundaries around (for example) people in their lives that trigger them emotionally or in other ways. You know the people. The ones who are vying for your attention. The ones calling you and contacting you, needing you now, now, now. Everything is now. Everything is urgent.
Well again, let’s try something.
For one day (perhaps today?) try NOT responding to all those (non)urgent cries for your attention. Put your email on auto-responder. Let the phone call go to voice mail. Change your status to offline. Silence your phone (or at least the notifications). Choose one person, some people, or everyone to implement these actions and boundaries with. The important thing is that you protect your time, energy, concentration, and thoughts by building healthy boundaries to prevent that stress from creeping up.
And Step Number Four: AFFIRMATION.
You know I love positive affirmations, and use them daily in my journal and life. Start with one positive affirmation, just one. Practice writing it out and saying it to yourself or out loud.
Now the trick with affirmations is to say them, write them, and use them daily. To repeat. Repeat. Repeat until you believe and there is no doubt in your core.
I want you to think, write, and say aloud one or more of the following:
Repeating your affirmation(s) is guaranteed to shift your negative beliefs and quiet the destructive thinking that so often leads to stress.
After reading over these four steps, how do you feel? How do you feel about acknowledging the external stressors while also taking responsibility for your OWN stress-inducing thoughts? For reframing negative thinking? Setting up boundaries? Reciting affirmations?
Yes, it’s not easy to do straight away. And yes it will take practice. Start slow, go gentle and know that you’ve got this.
Now pop a comment down below or send me an email to let me know how you’re going or how I can help. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as well so you never miss any stress-busting learn-to-thrive tips again.
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Why is it that when we have so much to do, to run your business... that we sit and spin out wheels and do nothing at all?
To do lists a mile lone, calls to make, leads to follow up, deadlines looming like dark clouds. And we just can't get moving, zero motivation. Negative self-talk kicks in, and the anxiety.
Procrastination would have to be the most guilt producing blocker on the planet!
Why do we delay the work, when we know it’s got to be done? When we know working our business and client work is what brings in the income? Why is it so hard to jump in and tick things off the list?
Procrastination is a sign of overwhelm.
It is how our mind responds to the fact we are overloaded by the sheer volume of work and noise we have in our life.
As a business owner the to do list is never ending. We become overwhelmed by what is required of us. There is the pressure (financial and other) of running the day to day business and managing life outside of the business.
With so much going on it seems impossible to even choose what is most important, or what to do next.
So, we procrastinate.
It is easier to delay and postpone and find something else to do that takes our mind off all that we have to do. The issue with this however, is that it exacerbates the problem feeling we had in the first place.
4 SIMPLE IDEAS TO HELP YOU PUSH THROUGH THE PROCRASTINATION
1. Start Yesterday
Prep your day, the day before. Write out your to do list the night BEFORE you leave the office. Make it the last thing you do before shutting down your laptop. List 3 things you do tomorrow.
Just 3 things. Be realistic, this is not a brain dump of everything that you have circling your mind that needs doing. Sometimes your “to do list” of 50 URGENT items is the biggest trigger for procrastination. It is too overwhelming, where do you even start?! Instead, write a short list of your top 3 MUST DO’S.
Remember: You can do anything, but not everything!
2. Start Early
Studies tells us that your brain functions best an hour after you wake and is running at maximum productivity for the first 2-3 hours. Knowing this – find out when your peak productivity time is … and use it!
3. Eat the Frog
I know it sounds like a strange concept (and now you’ll probably remember it!), but when you get to the office and look at the 3 things from your list ask yourself:
What is the HARDEST thing on your list to do?
This concept shifts you forward into action, just imagine how productive you could be if you made “eat the frog” a daily habit?
4. “Chunk Down” Out of the Overwhelm
You might be thinking “Well, I don’t even know what to write on my list I am that overwhelmed with what is coming at me right now”. When the brain fog is thick from stress and E V E R Y T H I N G feels overwhelming then here is a simple tool called chunking down, that will help bring you out of the overwhelm.
Book 15mins of quiet reflection time, take a deep breath and asking yourself a couple questions to find clarity:
What specifically is causing me to feel this way?
Chunking down allows you to get into the details and specifics of what is causing the overwhelm, understand what is blocking you and allows you to break it down into steps. Then everything doesn’t feel so daunting.
Taking the first step helps you to kick start the momentum and push through that procrastination!
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Sometimes as career women, we find ourselves at a crossroads: do I stay in this job that pays the bills but doesn’t give me much else? Do I want to spend the next 2, 5, 10, years in the same career? In the same job? At the same company? In the same industry?
Or do I…
What if I…
Is it possible to…
See we think these questions, but then we also find ourselves afraid of the answers, because the answers often mean change, and change often means stepping out of our comfort zones, and stepping out of our comfort zones can be scary.
Have you heard the saying, that there is no growth in your comfort zone? If not, think about it and tell me it’s not absolutely true. Are you REALLY able to grow if you’re staying comfortable at the same time?
Now, you’re welcome to stay in your comfort zone as long as you like, especially if you’re happy with where you're at in your life, work, and career.
But if you want to have more, be more, do more, or try more, then you've GOT to take a leap. And by taking that leap you’ll inevitably end up growing in the process and therefore stepping out of that (career) comfort zone.
I recently had a client who was 25 years old and looking at going to university to study a new career. The time it would take for her to complete her studies would be 7 years, which was obviously a big commitment. It also meant that she would have to step wildly out of her comfort zone and into an entirely new industry, and it was THIS that was holding her back. Not so much the time commitment, but the idea that she’d be stepping out into the unknown.
Whether you’re 25, 35, or 45, we often feel like it's too late to begin or we're too old or there isn't enough time or we don’t know how we could possibly make it work or…
Stop and answer me this: does it matter how long it takes if this is THE thing you've always a) wanted to do, or b) is the thing you want to do for the rest of your life?
It yes, then time doesn't really matter.
If yes, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, because if that thing that you want to do will set your soul and your passion on fire, then it doesn't matter how long it's going to take. You do it. You make it work. You ask for help. You reprioritise. You step out of your comfort zone and commit to the next stage.
For me, I spent 15 years working in a corporate career. In my thirties, I shifted my corporate role and went back to study public relations. Not easy, but I did it, because I knew I wanted to change. When I left corporate and started running my own business, it took another even bigger jump out of my comfort zone to transition. But guess what? I found my true calling and passion, coaching other women with their mindset and businesses, and couldn’t be more happy or fulfilled.
Was I scared? Yes! I had many, many fears.
And how did I bust through them? Well I continued to remind myself that the work I wanted was bigger than my fears. The women I wanted and knew I could help were bigger than my fears. They were bigger than staying in my comfort zone. And so it was only by stepping out of my comfort zone that I was able to thrive… and help other women do the same.
So if you find yourself heading towards a career crossroad (or know you’re already smack in the middle of one), I can help. If you’re got that side hustle happening you think (or know) could be something more, I can help.
With my Career Mindset Reset I can help you step out of your comfort zone and get you clear on:
Now will any of this be easy? Probably not. But I can guarantee this: it will definitely be worth it. Stepping out of your (career) comfort zone will bring you closer to your dreams. Closer to the life and business and career you envision for yourself.
So if you have any questions about my the Reset or just stepping out of your career comfort zone in general, comment below or send me an email.
I’d love to help you find clarity!
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I know in we are knee deep in the age of “personal development” everyone wants to learn and grow and heal themselves!
Which is AMAZING.
But, there is actually an information overload happening. We are CONSTANTLY consuming information, and our brain just can’t keep up.
We have over 2 million bits of information coming at us every second, your brain is constantly processing. Information comes in from all of our senses. From the sounds we hear, sights we see all around us, feelings and emotions we are feeling, our body's response to the food we've eaten, to what you are touching or sitting on.
Our brain can actually only to process 148 bits of information every second. Because of this the rest of the information coming in gets deleted distorted and generalised.
So, if you are a person that loves to "MULTI TASK LIKE A BOSS!" and keep up the HUSTLE to get things done… the truth is you are on the fast track to burnout.
And in my experience, this is where that unsettling feeling of not being FULFILLED in life comes from. We are spreading ourselves so thin, we have so much processing going on in our mind - we cannot literally be in the present moment to find JOY.
What am I talking about?
People today (me included!) are glued to our screens, either on zoom meetings, our laptops, social media or TV for the most part of our day. Most of the time we have multiple screens going at once.
How many times have you been watching a show and scrolling Instagram or Facebook at the same time?
Listening to the news show in the morning and reading on your ipad at the same time? Or, attempting to do 3 things at once - podcast going, finishing a work email and making dinner all while juggling the kids or our partners needs?
We think the more we consume and "fit in" the better off we will be.
IT IS JUST TOO MUCH.
"Your mind is like an instrument, a tool.
It is there to be used for a specific task.
And when the task is completed you lay it down”. - Eckhart Tolle
There is an incredible book by Eckhart Tolle called THE POWER OF NOW. The essence of the book Eckhart shares through his research that the only way to find fulfillment and feel joy is literally being present in the now.
Not 5 steps back in the past processing old hurts and emotions. Not 5 steps ahead in the future worrying about all the "what if's". Not with your head being flooded with an overload of information all the time..
It is about being here and now, NOT multi-tasking every moment of the day.
I used to cram in audio books and podcasts to every bit of space I could, while cooking, while cleaning, while doing the laundry, while driving. Then at night I would be watching TV flicking through You Tube videos or Instagram.
I was mentally and physically EXHAUSTED, and I had no idea why. I wasn’t sleeping, I felt wired. I would reach for sugar to pick me up in the afternoons. The lack of sleep funks up our emotions, responses and reactions.
I know you are probably thinking I have so much to do! And we often feel time is running out.
But, it’s not. Everything happens and gets done on time, when you allow it.
How do you do that? You focus on one thing at a time, you be realistic with your time frames of what you can get done. And some things will have to go on the back burner.
The key is really two things:
2. Make it a priority to build in pockets of quiet time, down time for your brain to process
If you have so much noise coming in then you aren’t allowing the time and space for creative thoughts to come out. Get out in nature go for a walk, without the head phones. Take yourself out for lunch, and just be present.
I could never work out why I literally have the best ideas in the morning while having a shower – does that happen to you too? Then, I realised it is because it is the ONLY time of the day I was doing 1 thing at a time and having a shower you block out all the external noise! Get it?! Thinking time, processing time is gold.
2. Stop multi-tasking everything, every hour of the day
Yes at times you’ll have to juggle, that is for sure. But this notion that we, as women have to hustle and grind and work harder and do more to succeed is such a masculine energy. Or the feeling that WE have to do it all and be responsible for it all is crazy!
Sometimes I actually have to say to my husband – not now, I am doing this and I can only focus on 1 thing! He was shocked when I first told him. Because of course I was the ultimate multi-tasker and the holder upper of everything.
Watch full video HERE
Focus on 1 thing at a time, with the intention of being present. And see how different that feels, less stress producing it feels. AND how much more productive you actually are.
Just like you prioritise work, or the kids or your dog, or exercise. You also need to block time for Personal Development, and also allow space for silence and processing time.
You will likely have to get better at time blocking. Start with a baby step – which might look like choosing 1 thing this week, that you would normally be multi-tasking and just focus on that one thing. Allow the silence and thinking time to seep in.
Calming the mind, is never a bad thing!
Email me or comment below with any questions on this topic? If this resonate with you today please tell me what is your first step going to be to reduce the over stimulation this week?
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Essentially this for my fellow Victorian's... but wherever you are in Australia, or around the world, you may find also value in this message.
I am feeling Victoria's collective frustration at our state government and the people in question who did certain things during the COVID-19's first lock down which has now prolonged our experience and thrown us into a wave 2.
I have connected with so many new women on my social channels and email list since the beginning of COVID-19 back in March. I am grateful for the opportunity to add value in my pocket of the world when I can with the knowledge I have on how to process negative emotions.
Anger and frustration at our external world brings up a lot of anxiety as the worry bubbles up wondering "how long will this will go on"?!
I know the turn of events this week in Melbourne are likely causing you stress, it is hard not to be consumed by the bad news and social media coverage.
This is your reminder: We’ve gotten through ISO before - we can do it again!
If you are like me, and have been feeling all the feels this week as we move into this 6 weeks of ISO... then I want to share with you the simple tools I use to help when the fear and frustration hits:
We’ve seen other Australian states do it and New Zealand! They are showing us what is possible.
We can too!
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