What does happiness mean to you?

We are nearing the end of Pursuit of Happiness Week.  (Yes, there is such a thing.)  I’m writing this post at the end of the week because I really wanted to pay attention to my own experience of focusing on happiness this week before putting pen to paper.

It was an interesting week of introspection.  When I consciously looked for opportunities to engage with happiness, opportunities appeared in small and large ways.

  • I spent 11 days with my 88-year old mother. Every morning I presented her with a latte with a chocolate powder heart on top.  That made her smile.  Making her smile made me happy.
  • The power went off at our house for eight hours. When it came back on, I was happy  . . . and grateful.  It’s amazing how much more I appreciated heat and lights.
  • Seeing our two rescue Boxers play in the front yard like they didn’t have a care in the world (which they don’t) made me happy. We changed their lives.
  • I take my grandson to indoor soccer practice. Watching 15 4-year olds having the time of their lives and learning a new skill made me happy.

So, tell me, what does “being happy” really mean?

According to dictionary.com, a partial definition of happiness is “Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good.”

I like this definition.  It brings our own needs and values into play and puts the determination of success in our own hands.  No one else can determine what happiness means to us.  We can not be held to other’s standards of what happiness means. It’s all on us.  We determine what happiness is; only we can determine if we are successful or not.

You’ve probably also heard “Happiness is managing expectations.”  I honestly believe that managing expectations is the key to happiness.

  • I’m an okay golfer. Not a great golfer.  If my happiness was dependent upon being a great golfer I would fail miserably.
  • I makedecent money in my coaching and organizing business. My happiness is dependent upon making changes in others’ lives, not in a large savings account.
  • I have a small but devoted group of friends. If my happiness was dependent upon having the most FB friends, I would be unhappy indeed.

What makes you happy?  What can you control about your happiness?

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

 

Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

Shhhhh. We just need some quiet.

I just read the most interesting article in the September issue of Real Simple magazine which reminded me of just how little quiet most of us have in our daily lives and how much noise we are subjected to on a constant basis.

We get up and turn on the TV/radio to catch up on the news, weather, and traffic.  We get in our cars and check news, weather, and traffic.  We go into our offices where the phone is ringing, our computers alert when we receive an e-mail or instant message, we attend meetings with lots of people talking (sometimes all at once).  Then, when we leave the office we do it all in reverse, substituting the meetings with entertainment from our TV or other electronic devices.

Even when we are in the great outdoors, we hear cars, plane, trains, lawnmowers, trimmers, leaf blowers . . . it just doesn’t stop!  When do we encounter true peace and quiet?

Interesting statistics according to the Real Simple article:

  • 25% of US adults ages 20-69 show signs of noise-induced hearing impairment.
  • A recent study in Ireland showed 50% of millennials shows early signs of hearing loss, mostly from excessively loud music in their headphones.
  • More than 20 studies have shown that noise pollution can affect children’s learning outcomes and cognitive performance.
  • Any noise over 85 decibels can damage hearing over time.
  • The World Health Organization recommends a limit of 40 decibels overnight to prevent sleep disturbance.
  • What are the decibel levels of items we may encounter every day?

Typical conversation: 60 decibels

Blender: 88 decibels (I started wearing earplugs when I make my daily smoothie)

Barking dog: 90 decibels

Hand Drill: 98 decibels

Sporting event: 100 decibels (unless you were a Seattle Seahawk fan at the stadium in 2013 when the record was set at 136.6 decibels)

Fitness class: 110 decibels (a bit ironic, right?)

So, what can we do about it?

  • Be diligent about ear protection when encountering noise, even for a short period of time.
  • Monitor your environmental noise levels.  There is a handy app for our smart phones to help us with this.
  • Contact your government representatives asking for assistance to create and/or monitor anti-noise laws.

Above all else, find a place and time to give yourself a bit of peace and quiet . . . you deserve it and will likely be more healthy, and possibly smarter, because of it.

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

 

Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

 

Are you ready to “Fall Back?”

The leaves are falling.  The days are getting shorter.  The nights are getting colder.  Those are all sure signs that winter is approaching.  And with that, comes the “fall back” change of time.  I don’t know about you, but I appreciate “falling back” much more than “springing forward.”  That extra hour of sleep is magical!

The Fall time change happens on Sunday, November 5th, at 2:00 AM.  Although “falling back” isn’t as hard on our bodies (since we don’t “lose” an hour of sleep), it still takes some adjusting.

  1. Maintain your regular sleep pattern.  Don’t use the promise of an extra hour of sleep to binge-watch your favorite series and stay up until 2:00 AM so you can set the clocks at the exact time.  Go to bed at your regular time, reset the clocks right before you go to bed and maybe, just maybe, get an extra hour of blissful sleep!  If you’re interested, the National Sleep Foundation has some guidelines on how much sleep we all need.
  2. Maintain your regular eating schedule.  Eating earlier or later than your body is accustomed to will cause additional confusion.  Maintain healthy nutrition (like we shouldn’t do that every day!) so your body isn’t trying to combat a sleep change and nutrition change at the same time.
  3. Get additional exercise a few days leading up to Saturday.  Several studies site the benefits of exercise (but not right before bed) in helping our bodies and brains wind down faster, resulting in better sleep.
  4. Go outside.   Sunlight on your SPF-protected skin will help your body’s circadian rhythm get back in sync.  Try for an hour outside on Sunday
  5. Resist taking a long nap on Sunday.  If you do stay up too late on Saturday night/Sunday morning binge-watching TV, you may be tempted to take a nice, long nap on Sunday afternoon.  Resist the urge.  If you do feel like a nap is in order, keep it to around 30 minutes or less.  Anything longer will also mess with your circadian rhythm.

Other tips from Dr. Yoseph Krespi, Director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at New York Head and Neck Institute:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, yet avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day.
  • Make your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary: dark, quiet, and cool (somewhere in the mid to upper 60’s is perfect).
  • Don’t tackle any complex tasks right before bed.  Your brain will find it more difficult to shut down.
  • Start unwinding an hour before bed.   Have a cup of chamomile tea, take a bath, relax. If you are relaxed vs. stressed when you actually make it to bed, your body will have less to do before going to sleep.

Although I do love the Fall season, it will be nice to have it light past 6:00 PM, don’t you think?  I’m ready for this time change.  How about you?

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

 

Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

Maintaining medical records

I just spent a week with my 88-year old mother who lives 500 miles away.  My siblings and I are very fortunate that Mom is in good health, mentally sharp, exercises regularly, and is able to do just about anything she wants.

Over the course of the visit, my sister and I took Mom to eight appointments varying from annual checkups to dental appointments, including a tooth extraction.  My very, very organized sister manages all the documentation involved in my mother’s health and keeps everything in a 2”, well-tabbed binder.  The answer to any question asked by any provider (“When was your last flu shot?” “What are your cholesterol levels?” “What medications do you take?”) could be found in that binder.

That got me to thinking:

  • How does everyone else keep track of their medical information? I know I don’t have the equivalent of that binder. Should I?
  • How detailed does the binder need to be?
  • What other options are there?

Here’s how my sister’s binder is laid out:

  • Outside Front: Complete list of providers (by specialty), addresses, and phone numbers
  • Inside, First Page:
    • Detail of schedule and last appointments (by specialty). For example, “Dental check-up: twice annually, last check-up 10/20/2017.”
    • Surgery and incident report. For example, “Age 12: a broken left forearm;” “Age 22: natural childbirth.”
  • Inside, Second Page: Authorization to release information.
  • Tabs:
    • Vaccinations
    • Brain: Any neurology-related information including appointments, MRIs, CTs, care plan, etc.
    • Heart: Any heart-related information including appointments, EKGs, ultrasounds, stress tests, care plan, etc.
    • Bones: bone density scan, DEXA scan, etc.
    • Lab tests: If possible, create a multi-year spreadsheet to track the change in important categories such as cholesterol, D3, B12, etc.
    • Dental: Any dental-related information including appointments, dental surgeries, care plan, etc.
    • Vision: Any vision-related information including appointments, refractions, current prescription, care plan, etc.
    • Miscellaneous: General practitioner appointments, care plan, any incidents that need to be documented like falls or other incidents, comments made in passing that may be relevant (for example “I’ve not had much appetite lately,” or “I feel a little weak.” Note date and time of comment).

This system has worked well for our family.  It may work well for you also.

However, if you wanted to purchase a pre-packaged version, there are several options available.  Pre-packaged systems may be as simple as a journal, or a bit more detailed, varying from journals to binder tabs to full systems including business card holders, CD holders, etc.

 

 

 

 

http://www.mydoctorbook.com/index.php

 

 

 

 

 

My Body Passport

 

 

 

My Personal Health Record Keeper

 

 

 

 

Ahh Hah Medical Records Organizer

Note:  The information provided does not imply endorsement of these products.

No matter what system you choose to use for your personal medical record-keeping or the record-keeping of someone you love, the key is to create an easy-to-use, accessible method to capture critical information about our health and well-being.

 

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

ADHD in the Workplace

 

October is ADHD Awareness Month

“For many people, ADD is not a disorder but a trait, a way of being in the world.  When it impairs their lives, then it becomes a disorder.”  — Edward Hallowell

There have been some incredibly successful people who have ADHD.  Most have identified their ADHD-created weaknesses and designed support structures to reduce the impact in the workplace.  For them, it is a trait, not a disorder.

Others, however, struggle with a variety of challenges created by the symptoms of ADHD.

Most workplaces are designed around the 92%-96% of us that are linear, process-oriented people who understand prioritization and are keen to basic social norms.  People with ADHD find some of these basic premises a challenge.

Listed below are some of the most common barriers those struggling with ADHD find in a typical workplace:

Organization, prioritization, and sequencing:  Some of the most difficult tasks for people with ADHD to get a handle are organization, prioritization and sequencing.  The inability to find important documents, turn projects in on time and have a clear picture of what needs to happen when can create incredible stress.

Solution:  If you don’t have an assistant to help out, possibly enlist the services of an organized co-worker or Professional Organizer who can help set up simple filing systems, create a calendar system utilizing some project management tools (due date, tasks, timelines, calendar reminders, etc.), and schedule regular check-ins to ensure you are on track.

Time management:  This is, by far, the most common hurdle for the clients I work with who have ADHD.  Due to their executive functioning processes, they just have a harder time keeping track of time.  This presents a real problem when they continually show up late for meetings (or don’t show up at all) or when they estimate that a project will take an hour and it ends up taking much longer, frustrating not only themselves but whomever else is involved in the project.

Solution: First, I encourage all of my clients to purchase a Time Timer to track not only the time it takes to complete a task (vs the time they think it will take), but it also helps to be aware of the passage of time.  Second, I promote the use of analog clocks everywhere and wearing an analog watch.  It is very helpful to regularly be reminded of time and digital devices just don’t have the same impact.  Lastly, use an audible or vibration device to que that it’s time for a transition (going to a meeting, picking up the kids, returning from lunch, etc.).

Challenging social skills:  Individuals with ADHD are more reactionary than those without.  Unfortunately, this may result in unintentionally offending those around them by not listening or interrupting, being more direct than the social setting may call for, and being more “me” focused than is appropriate.

Solution: Practice being attentive, with special attention to blocking out distractions.  Pause before speaking. Ask yourself if the reaction is truly warranted.  Pay close attention to social cues.  Did someone walk away abruptly?  Possibly you offended without meaning to do so.  Reach out if it appears someone has been offended.  Asking for feedback and forgiveness is hard at the moment, but much better than allowing the ill will to linger.

Distractibility:  Let’s face it, people with ADHD are more easily distracted than others.  Whether it’s an external distraction (music, co-workers, jack-hammers, piles of paper, or a cluttered desk) or internal distractions (daydreaming, planning an anniversary dinner, wondering how the fantasy football team is doing) distractions are all around us.

Solution:  If possible, visually or audibly block out distractions.  This may include headphones and closing a door or blinds.  Don’t constantly be checking e-mail (I suggest my clients only look at e-mail three to four times a day if the office policies and norms allow).  Stay away from social media when a project deadline is looming.  Keep track of projects and tasks by using task lists and a Time Timer.

Do you see yourself or others in the above situations?  If so, is ADHD a trait or a disorder?

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

Can you say “thank you” too much?

I had an interesting exchange with my 4-year old grandson recently.

On our way home, we passed a park we’d frequented.  He said, “you’ve taken me to that park before.”  I said I had and asked he wanted to go there again.  He said he did and followed with “thank you, Grandma.”

Throughout the park visit, he thanked me multiple times for taking him to the park.  When we were back in the car, he thanked me again for taking him to the park.

This exchange intrigued me.

First, the fact that my 4-year old grandson thanked me without being prompted was in itself both very fascinating and encouraging.   Nicely done on the parenting front, kids!

Then I got to thinking:

  • Why did he feel the need to thank me so many times?
  • Did I find his second, third, and fourth “thank you” as impactful as the first?
  • How many “thank you” exchanges are too many?  Too little?
  • What is the appropriate way to say “thank you”?

As I thought about this exchange I realized, no matter how many times he said “thank you” it made me smile.  And it’s not just because a 4-year old says it.

Many of my clients going through either a physical or emotional transition say “thank you” so many times I lose count, but every time I feel that positive dopamine rush which makes me want to do even more for them.  Whether it’s the first or fifteenth time, the rush is the same.

What does an appropriate “thank you” look like?  Well, it depends. On the giver. On the recipient. On the situation. On the culture.  There is a whole mess of variables to take into account, but largely, I like a physical “thank you” notes for almost everything. Whether it’s appreciation for and effort, a gift, a job interview, etc. I find a physical note means so much more than a simple e-mail or phone call.

Many of you in the Puget Sound will remember Sunny Kobe Cook from the Sleep Country chain of mattress stores.  I recently heard her speak and said the #1 retention tool in her business was a personalized “thank you” note to customers. And, even more importantly, the one thing that kept her, as a loyal customer was also a personal thank you note.  Such a small effort for such a big return.  My guess is, there is almost as much of a dopamine rush from saying “thank you” as there is from receiving it.

I’m a big believer in letting people know I appreciate them and their efforts.  Saying “thank you” is a small courtesy, yet can provide so much positive energy to both the sender and the receiver.  Give it a try, see how it feels.

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

 

What do you know about ADHD?

“It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”                                                                                        — Malcolm Forbes

 

October is National ADHD Awareness month.  Over the next month, I will share some of my experience and understanding of the challenges of living with ADHD.

The first being that ADHD is one of the most highly understood brain-based conditions.  As an organizer and coach who primarily works with people struggling with ADHD, I can tell you the struggle is real.

It is estimated that 4% – 8% of the population has ADHD the traits may cause frustration for not only people diagnosed with ADHD but their family, friends, co-workers, etc.

Comments I frequently hear from my clients:

“People think I just don’t care.”

“I’ve been shamed my whole life.”

“People think I’m ignoring them.”

“They tell me to just try harder.  I’m really trying.”

“I don’t want to be late, I just can’t seem to get out of the house on time.”

“I have horrible credit because I forget to pay my bills.”

What is ADHD?

“A complex syndrome of developmental impairments of executive functions, the self-management system of the brain, a system of mostly unconscious operations.  These impairments are situationally-specific, chronic, and significantly interfere with functioning in many aspects of the person’s daily life.”           (Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.)

The “big 3” ADHD Traits.

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

ADHD is highly genetic.

Only height has a stronger genetic predictability (Source: University of Maryland psychologist Andrea Chronis).  Think about that.  If your child is struggling with what appears to be ADHD, could that explain some of your frustrations as a child or adult?  I frequently work with women who were diagnosed with ADHD after their children were diagnosed.

Why is ADHD a problem?

ADHD affects the executive function area of the brain (prefrontal cortex) that controls working memory, sequencing, flexibility, information processing, time management, and emotional regulation.  Most of our world is designed to work in concert with people that have an ability to think in a linear, process-oriented way.

How is it different? Here’s an example.

Most people can visit a Staples and pick out the perfect pen because they can process the pros/cons of each type, color, thickness, etc.  Someone with ADHD may get completely stuck by the sheer number of options. They literally may not be able to mentally process all the options and make a decision, so they leave the store empty-handed, frustrated and feeling like a failure.

What can someone with ADHD do to make life easier?

-Clocks, clocks, and more clocks.  Put them everywhere and make them analog.  10:10 looks very similar to 10:40 on a digital clock, but very different on an analog clock.
-Thought management. Write things down wherever you would look to (multiple places if that makes sense)
-Time management:  Routinely use a planner and a timing device (phone alerts work wonders as does a Time Timer).
-Get organized enough (less stuff, less to think about)
-Embrace a “to do” list (keep it simple and current)
-Voice/text messages (if something is important to remember and you can’t write it down, leave yourself and/or others messages)

There will be more information to come throughout the month about how ADHD affects our lives.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me at 206-707-3458.

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

Pause. Patience. Perspective.

Parts of the yesterday really tried my patience.

I had a wonderful opportunity to visit a friend in her new home and play a round of golf in beautiful 84-degree weather.  The day was magical . . . until I started what should have been a 2-1/2 hour trek home.

Then I encountered . . . .

Accidents:  Four of them to be exact.  It was during commute time.  There were no “alternate routes” available.  These four accidents would ultimately result in an additional 2 hours of travel time.  I was frustrated.  Then I was thankful.  I was in a comfortable, safe car.  I had no critical timeline in which I needed to be somewhere.  I was not involved in any of the accidents.  Pause. Patience. Perspective.

A slow driver:  Honestly!  They were driving 10 MPH under the speed limit. What’s up with that?  I was tempted to do the ol’ flash the lights routine because I assumed it was some young whipper-snapper texting and not paying attention.  Nope, it was an elderly couple looking at a map and trying to find their way.  I would have felt horrible had I made their trek even more stressful by my impatience.  Pause. Patience. Perspective.

A broken Frappuccino machine:  I jumped off the freeway long enough to complete a coaching call with a very motivated client that I‘ve been working with for some time.  After the call, I decided to treat myself to a frappuccino for the next 90-minute drive home.  The sign said the frappuccino was 490 calories.  That’s a lot of calories for a drink in my mind, but I decided to treat myself.  Five minutes later the manager told me the machine was broken and he needed to refund my $5.62.  I could have been upset, but honestly, I was relieved.  I really didn’t feel good about it anyway.  Pause. Patience. Perspective.

So, what did all of this teach me?  The power of pausing, taking a second to engage with some patience, and thinking about a possible different perspective.

How would you benefit from practicing pause, patience, and perspective?

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

Bounce Back!

I recently had a major disappointment.  I’d been working on a project for nearly three years.  Having spent lots of time, energy, and money on this endeavor, I was ready to reap the fruits of my labors.  The final assignment was to pass a very rigorous test.  I did not pass.

I was devastated.  I’m used to succeeding.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

I was mad.

I cried.

I swore (sorry Mom).

I screamed about my perceived injustice.

I crumbled.

Then I sat back and asked myself “what’s next?”  How was I going to bounce back?

As a coach, I encounter this type of situation with my clients on a frequent basis.  I worked with my personal coach (yes, even coaches use coaches) to help process the situation and determine my next steps.

Embrace the emotion:  I’m a very emotional person.  I feel deeply.  This rocked me to the core and I knew I needed to acknowledge the disappointment.  So, I let myself have 24 hours to process all the negative emotions, then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started figuring out what my next step was.  Years ago I remember my coaching mentor saying “there is motivation in emotion.”  Yes, yes, there is!

Own it:  I had a very clarifying conversation with my mentor.  She gave me some incredible insight into where I’d gone wrong; how I could learn from this disappointment; and what I could do differently to prepare for my next opportunity.  How often do we look at our ownership in things that don’t go the way we want them to?

Put it in perspective:  At first, I wanted to completely throw in the towel, but deep-down I knew that would only be a further disappointment.  I literally said to myself “why even try again?”  Honestly!  Even though I’d spent nearly three years working on this project, it is not a one-and-done opportunity.  It’s a process.  It’s a learning and character-building opportunity.  In the scheme of things, this is a little bump in the road.

Learn from others and work harder:  When I really thought about it, I realized I’d not put the effort into the test that I should have.  I’m generally pretty successful at things and hadn’t really acknowledged the effort being successful in this endeavor was going to take.  Fortunately, I have several colleagues that have been through this process.  I asked each and every one of them what they did to be successful and have incorporated their processes into my new learnings.  In a nutshell, I’ve learned both from my mistakes and the successes of others.  And, frankly, I’m just plain working harder this time around.

The silver lining in this process is that I’ve become a stronger, smarter, and more resilient person than I was before this experience.

What can you learn from the disappointments, large or small, that you encounter?  How do you bounce back?

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President
ICD_LogoTag_Horz_72 website
Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies

What does “self improvement” mean to you?

September is “National Self Improvement” month.   Although most of us are constantly striving to improve ourselves, sometimes we just need a gentle nudge or reminder to help move us forward to living the life we want to live.

Here are some areas my clients frequently mention when they are focusing on self-improvement and self-care:

Get some sleep: We all feel better after a good nights’ sleep, right?  Well, what else does it do for us other than make us feel good?

  • Saves calories: Well-rested people eat an average of close to 300 calories per day.
  • Makes your brain more efficient at recall: When we sleep, our brain sorts through all the information it took in for the day, making it easier to recall the important stuff.
  • Heals you from the inside out: While sleeping, our brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth.

Forgive someone, possibly yourself:  I find forgiveness to be a learned skill that I’m constantly working on.  I know that harboring resentment does more damage to my personal well-being than the actual indiscretion.  According to Dr. Judith Orloff  “Forgiveness does more for you than anyone else because it liberates you from negativity and lets you move forward.”  Whom do you need to forgive to move forward?

Create silence for 10 minutes a day:  Think about it: how many waking minutes do you spend in silence each day?  We get up and turn on the TV or radio while we get ready. We get in the car and turn on the radio.  During the day we are on the phone, listening to piped-in music, having meetings, etc.  Then, we get back in our cars and listen to the radio, and come home and turn on the TV.  Very little of our day is in silence.  In 2011 the World Health Organization published a report concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”  Silence helps our brains relax.

Get physical:  Make an effort to move a little every day.  Even just a little bit pays off.  I’ve written a previous blog about this and I know it’s more difficult for some to schedule than others (I’m in awe of all you working moms and dads!), but the benefits of even a few minutes every day pays off both physically and emotionally.

Get social: Social connections and overall happiness go hand-in-hand.  Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, two pioneers of positive psychology, conducted a study in 2002 at the University of Illinois.  The results showed that the most common characteristic of students who were very happy and showed the fewest signs of depression were “their strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them.”

What would you like to work on during “National Self Improvement Month?”

Cindy Jobs

www.organizetosimplify.com

National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President
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Institute for Challenging Disorganization:
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
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Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies