Busy Work Life: Is Your Health and Energy Suffering?

Your health and physical energy is always a great guidance for you to see whether you are doing the important things that feed positive energy into your mind, body and soul. If you are feeling low in energy or feeling your health is suffering, then take a good look at what you are promising to do in your day and create plenty of space for yourself to breath, reflect and change your approach.

I have had many people come to me for coaching who are feeling low in energy and concerned about their health. They noticed how much they pushed themselves in their working life, so much so, that they did not make quality time to be with their family, never made time for themselves and very much concerned about their own health.

The truth is that they really do not want to have this year be the same as last year and their commitment is to work on 3 main areas to make these changes.

Busy Work Life: Is Your Health and Energy Suffering?

  1. Simple exercise and relaxation techniques that work for each individual because we all enjoy different forms of exercise. So be careful not to think you ‘should be’ doing a form of exercise based on what others have said to do or what you did 20 years ago. You have changed and it is important to listen to what your body is telling you to do today.

Most of you may know that my background is as a national sportswoman and being a high achiever, I learned about this the hard way – exercise today is a breeze and I listen to what my body needs. My past career was as a personal trainer and the most common thing I heard from people I worked with was that they felt like they had to ‘work hard’ to get results. This is not the truth. It is all about consistency and doing what you enjoy so that it becomes a natural way of life – not a yo-yo situation – take away all the push, relax and enjoy the process as a way of life. Think of it as your commitment to having a healthy lifestyle for life.

  1. The other area we are working on is how to set your day up for success by ‘under-promising and over delivering’. A great tip on setting your day up is to set it up the night before by acknowledging what you did get done during that day, and then choose 3-5 highest priority actions and set these up in the next day’s diary. Add plenty of white space inside your diary for the unexpected. Place lunch breaks in your diary and get away from the office to clear your mind and rejuvenate your batteries for the afternoon.

Now, this is the most important part – take a look at your diary and notice whether you feel heavy and stressed or light and accomplishable. If you feel heavy when looking at your day’s diary set up, then you will definitely set your day up to fail, even before it has begun. Let’s take away the stress by setting up realistic time frames that work for you. Stop trying to push through and collapsing at the end of the day hanging out for that release of some kind.

Then visualise your day exactly the way you would like it to go based on what you have placed in your diary and see yourself going home with plenty of energy to do those things you want to do with your family, time for yourself, exercise etc.

  1. Set up quality time with your family, children, pets, whoever is important to you on a daily basis and ‘be present’ with them. Also, put this time in your diary and do not let yourself down and the people most important in your life.

Become the designer of your life and business success. Keep it super simple as you set up consistent foundations as your daily practice for sustainable energy and vitality.

If your productivity and performance levels are being hindered due to your lack of energy and vitality, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards living with sustainable energy and vitality?

If you know of a leader who is struggling with staying focused due to their lack of energy and vitality, please share this article.

Powerful Teamwork with Engaging Communication

Are you having challenges when it comes to creating a team who works well together? When it comes to developing a champion team, there are principles that are not often spoken about which are vital to the success of your team working together, instead of a group of individuals hoping it all comes together at the end of the day.

I remember as a World Masters champion sportswoman, when on the field if we did not communicate we would not know what action our team members were about to take. We needed to hear the communication loud and clear so we knew exactly what support our team members needed. We needed to know exactly what move to make, where we needed to be positioned on the field in order to win the game.

Without clear and assertive communication our whole team would play as individuals without support. Without backup, we would not be able to create momentum. The game became much harder and not enjoyable to play with a whole pile of individuals not playing well together as a team.

I remember certain team members who did not have confidence in asserting themselves because they did not believe in their own abilities. This was when the team knew they needed to communicate early enough before the next play. In other words, the team had to carry that player. This was most frustrating at times because on the field you do not have time to wait as the gap of opportunity would close up very quickly.

Getting to know everyone’s communication style was the key. This meant getting to know each team member and finding out what they needed in the way of support for their full performance and potential to be played out on the field.

This was when I gave extra one-on-one time with team members who needed development and support; otherwise, the whole team would suffer. Yes, this takes time, but you will be surprised how quickly your team will step-up and lead with the qualities of a champion leader when you make time to get to know what they need. This is because they feel heard and understood.

For success in your professional and personal life, the same rule applies.

Powerful Teamwork with Engaging Communication

As your team moves into their plays, they will come up against challenges and the unexpected. They need to know how to read the play early and communicate before the play occurs in order to adapt to these challenges. If the communication is not loud and clear, then you will lose the game.

A champion leader inspires others by having an inquisitive communication style by asking open questions to evoke a deeper understanding of whom that person truly is. They are curious and listen with all their senses about what they are saying and what they are not saying. They see everyone as being the master of their own life who has the answers to all their questions.

The power of engaging communication is when you become the observer.

I like to call this the ‘helicopter view’. This is when you are able to be a witness of your own and of others’ communication style, where you listen without judgment. You will then know exactly what to say in the moment that will inspire and lead your team with respect, clarity, and acknowledgment.

This reminds me of a story about a client named Jordon, who came to me for leadership coaching, wanting to improve his team’s communication and efficiency. The first thing I asked him was, “When was the last time you acknowledged your team members?” With a proud smile on his face, he said, “I took them out to lunch to celebrate winning our last contract.”

“Great incentive for celebrating a milestone,” I answered. Then I asked another question, “When was the last time you acknowledged your team members on an individual basis, unexpectedly?” He looked at me in a puzzled manner and replied, “What do you mean, unexpectedly?”

I explained every one of his team members has strengths, qualities and natural talents they are using on a daily basis. If he began to acknowledge his team members for their natural talents, instead of taking their strengths for granted, then each individual will start to feel more and more confident to the degree that even their so-called ‘weaknesses’ will become strengths. This will shift the energy, attitude, and mindset of all team members to work in harmony with efficient and effective results.

The challenge I gave Jordon was to genuinely acknowledge team members for one of their natural talents during the next week. He did this, and to his surprise, he noticed a dynamic shift in the efficiency of the team working together.

An added bonus was while he had always had an ‘open door’ policy; the team had never used it. After he started to acknowledge them, they felt much more confident and comfortable to communicate any challenges, or concerns, before they got out of hand. Much to Jordon’s surprise he even witnessed the team members starting to acknowledge each other more.

The other challenge I gave Jordon for that week, was to have him acknowledge his wife for something he really appreciated, on three separate occasions. You can imagine how he was feeling the following week when we had our next coaching session! Yes, by acknowledging his wife regularly, he had also improved his relationship with her. This effect also rippled out to their children.

Even when there is nothing wrong in a relationship, there is always room for improvement, which is not highlighted until you do something different, and outside the square.

I have used Jordon’s example with team leadership acknowledgment; however, the same applies to all situations when working with people.

This includes acknowledgment of family members, sporting clubs you may be involved with, working environments, business owners and staff, parents and children at school, etc.

If you are having challenges in developing a powerful team that works well together, do not waste another minute banging your head against a brick wall, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation about your communication and leadership style.  www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards developing your engaging communication style?

If you know of a leader who is being challenged in developing the art of engaging communication, please share this article.

Strengthen your Strengths

“Your natural strengths are the gift you have to offer the world.”

Most people do not acknowledge their own strengths, abilities and natural talents. Your strengths are the qualities or skills that you are generally good at, are drawn to and enjoy doing. When you clearly identify and acknowledge your own strengths, you will re-ignite a glow inside of you that will automatically strengthen your strengths.

You will miss out on a lot of life’s exciting opportunities that you know you would love to experience if you do not bring your strengths to the forefront. For example, you could miss out on applying for a new management position, asking someone you admire out for dinner or starting your own business. Your strengths will become weaknesses and lie dormant if you are not conscious of what they are – and especially if you do not utilise them in your life.

This reminds me of one of my clients, Sally, who was naturally very creative. She would paint, draw and design cards in her spare time. I said to her in one of our group coaching sessions that it was easy to see that her natural strength was being creative. Sally said that she could not see how that could be a strength because that was what she had always done in her spare time.

“How could it be strength when that was just how she was?”

I then asked her if she knew anyone else in her group of friends who did the same things in their spare time, to which she answered No. I explained that it is easy to not see our own strengths because they have become a part of who we naturally are. When Sally started to own her strength of creativity she started to share her artwork with others and even began to frame some of her work to hang in her new home.

Many people are busy putting themselves down and focusing on what they are not good at instead of focusing on what they are good at doing. When you focus on your strengths and utilise them to their fullest capacity you will be surprised at what you can do.

Let’s not forget your so-called ‘weaknesses’, as it’s important to be aware of these and to acknowledge them also. I do not consider weaknesses as a weakness. The thing about a weakness that most people do not realise is that it is only a part of you that you have not practised enough for it to become strength.

Notice how your strengths are strengths because you enjoy utilising them and they then come easily to you. Your weaknesses may be areas that you do not enjoy as much, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose not to have them become a strength. If a particular weakness is something that you would like to become strength, all you need to do is to learn and practice it until it becomes a part of your strengths.

Look for Strengths in your Whole Life

I was coaching Julie, who shared with me that when she was writing out her strengths, she noticed that they mainly related to her working career and experiences. This challenged Julie because while work was a major part of her life, she wanted to balance this more and look at strengths in other areas of her life.

So we explored this by looking at the balance wheel. Julie went to the gym regularly, so one of her strengths was looking after her well-being and fitness. Another obvious strength to me was that Julie was very well organised in having a routine that she was committed to maintaining. Another area we looked into was family and friends and the way Julie kept in contact with them on a regular basis even if they lived in another state or country. The strength, in this case, was staying connected with loved ones by keeping in touch over the phone, no matter where she lived in the world.

As Julie started to explore her strengths, I observed a glow in her eyes and a huge, engaging smile on her face. I acknowledged her for having a great smile. This was also a strength Julie had – and she was not even aware of it.

So you see your strengths are not just about your qualifications and work experiences. In fact, you need to have a look at all areas of your life. You may be a great father/mother, or easily connect with people, you may be a person who excels at routine and being organised, or you could be a great ideas person. Dare to expand yourself in becoming aware of your own strengths. Take a look at the list below giving some examples of strengths.

List of Strengths

  • Well organised person
  • Great smile
  • Committed person
  • Connect with people easily
  • Great communication skills
  • Open and honest
  • High standards
  • Great father/mother
  • Healthy and fit
  • Enthusiastic
  • Honest work ethics
  • Positive nature
  • High energised person
  • Loving wife/husband
  • Great systems in life/business/career
  • Put people before results
  • Very creative
  • Love life
  • Acknowledge self and others
  • Visionary
  • Balanced life
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Team player
  • Leader
  • Great manager

Coaching Tip

You have natural strengths, talents and abilities that you use every day. When you own who you are and what you do well, this will give you greater clarity of vision and confidence because you will know exactly why you do what you do.

Make a list of your top 10 strengths. Be really generous with yourself and write whatever comes to mind. Be mindful about where in our life you are expressing your strengths.

I encourage you to give yourself a boost of certainty and confidence by taking on the challenge of making a list of your top 30 strengths and let me know how you go.

By strengthening your strengths with conscious awareness and mindful action, you will gain clarity with natural confidence knowing Who you truly are and Why you do what you do.

There is no competition when you know Who you really are, What unique strengths you have developed and in What way you naturally express your strengths. This way of living will ultimately give you your purposeful Why each day.

Close the Gap to Living your Vision

Closing the gap between where you are now in life and where you want to be can be challenging. I remember feeling frustrated at times about the size of the gap and wanting changes to happen ‘yesterday’! We tend to forget about the importance of developing a foundation for our new and expansive vision to build on. I often had the feeling of either spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast or feeling I was on a roller coaster, one minute up and the next minute down.

I knew logically how important it was for a building to be secure, with a strong foundation below the surface, so the building can withstand the forces of nature. Yet, even though I knew this, I had never experienced what having a solid foundation felt or looked like until I started taking the consistent steps I needed to take. I just kept moving onto the next project, the next vision, the next goal etc.

Then I hit rock bottom…everything changed all of a sudden…

Going through an emotional divorce, my health suffered and my business flat-lined.  Facing the challenge of starting all over again, I began to do the things that were important to me first and giving myself plenty of space for clarity to explore ‘where to from here’. This was different from my usual pattern, to push on regardless – I knew how to do that so well!

Hitting rock bottom or going through a challenging time can be really tough. The last thing you want is to be in this position. I certainly didn’t! But I knew that the old way of doing things was not working for me at this stage in my personal and professional life.

I decided to tune into my heart and not let logic and rationale run my life. This was so foreign and pretty scary at the time, but I persisted and allowed myself to feel this different way of being. In a short period of time, I transformed my personal and professional life for the better, which I would never have achieved if I kept doing it the same old way.

As time went by and I consistently took actions that made my heart sing, I noticed how I started to get out of my head and listen to the guidance of my heart. Yes, I began to become my own best friend and to feel rock solid about which I was and what I wanted in my life, in a way I never had before.

The most miraculous experience for me was the realisation that while I had a strong foundation in my sporting life, I had never truly had a foundation in my personal or professional life. I was so excited because I finally felt I had something to build on, something which would never leave me because I was standing on solid ground.

Wow! What a fantastic experience this now is in my life, as I can manage challenges that come my way with much more flow and ease. No more roller coasters in my life – I know what I prefer! This applies to all areas of life. Develop a foundation, and you will experience a calm inner strength to face the daily challenges because you have something solid to stand on that will not waiver.

Build strong foundations

Building Strong Foundations

I remember when I started my first business as a personal trainer and coach in 1994, how excited I was because I had a vision of helping people bring out their best physically, emotionally and spiritually. I ran my business on sheer passion, based on this compelling vision. As the years went by, the excitement of my passion and vision started to dim – and I felt exhausted.

The turning point for me was when I became aware that while I was very good at helping people with their own personal health, fitness and ways to balance their life, the last thing I focussed on was doing it for myself.

There were two missing links for me. Firstly, I did not do the key things needed for my health, fitness and balance. Secondly, I did not have my business systems set strongly in place as my foundation for the business. Remember the story of the plumber who is very good at fixing everyone else’s leaky taps, but never makes time to fix his own leaky taps at home? Sound familiar to you? It is important to have a foundation in every area of your life for you to have a fulfilling and sustainable life. If you have a leaky tap in one area, it will affect the other areas.

I started to write down where I was spending my time and those areas I wanted to make time for. As I became more aware of where I wasted time and the areas I truly felt inspired, this was how the 5 pillars to life success came about for me to which I live by each day. I needed a simple formula that would support me in expressing my whole self.

The 5 Pillars to Life Success

  • Personal
  • Career/Business
  • Wellness
  • Self-Leadership
  • Financial

Take a look at the 5 pillars in your life and see how your foundation is set up. Are you standing on solid ground or are there areas you would like to focus on building up?

Start building your strong foundations and make sure you close the gap from where you are today to living your vision with clarity. I have created a Free-Flow Zone Assessment that will support you in cleaning up your life and build strong foundations.

Click on the resource link and scroll down to the Free-Flow Zone Assessment and give yourself a score out of 100. Let me know how you go.

Resources

Maximise Productivity with Your Success Cycle

Are you living in the ‘full on’ or ‘not at all’ cycle?

How often do you find yourself wasting heaps of your precious time, procrastinating over something you know will propel you forward?

Are you waiting for the extra time to appear, before you start to take action in a big way?

Yes, you may have heard it all before as to the best ways to stop procrastination in order to increase productivity. With the simplest way being to decide what you want to do and take action.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it! Yet, you may be asking yourself why don’t I ‘just do it’ – like the Nike slogan says?

Good question!

If it is as easy as it sounds, then we would all be doing it well, wouldn’t we!

I want to tell you that you are not alone with this very subject often being brought up for discussion inside my coaching conversations behind closed doors.

The real challenge is not fully in the decision-making or the action taking, it is mostly in the timing to maximise effort for greater effectiveness.

To take yourself to the next level of success with sustainable energy and strong foundations, it is important to know what Your Success Cycle is.

Let’s take away the ‘full on’ or ‘not at all’ syndrome from your life. We all have cycles in life. The problems is that we always tend to make ourselves wrong whenever we are not in a certain cycle like being ‘full on’ about something. What I learnt when I played sport at a national level was that I had to listen to my body energy cycle when training for an event. The cycle was low, moderate and high depending on pre-season, mid-season or post-season. This is a great analogy that we all can take on for sustainability in our own life and business choices.

Have you noticed at times there is something that needs to be done and you really do not feel like doing it, that when you get started slowly into it – how all of a sudden you find yourself really into it and actually enjoying what you are doing? This is because you are in the moment (out of your head) staying focussed on what you are doing.

You will not enjoy doing things when you are thinking about everything else that has to be done as this causes pressure and overwhelm on yourself. This is also one of the main reasons why we do not start something we know needs to be done or we really want to do because we are too busy complaining inside about everything else instead of focussing on one thing at a time.

Whenever you move your body you are shifting your own energy levels and also your own way of thinking in the moment. Using the analogy of sport and any form of exercise – generally, there is a warm-up phase that is required which not only prepares your body for exercise, it also prepares your mind. This happens through movement.

When I was a personal trainer, I would always ask my client this one crucial question “On a scale of 1-10 how does your body feel in energy levels right now?” They would normally answer something like…”Well I have had a hard day at work and I am feeling about a 5 out of 10″… my response was always – “Great! Let’s work a 5 out of 10 in your warm up – choose which cardio equipment you want to work on?” This is a very different approach to the old school way of pushing and driving yourself, which is what I use to do in my earlier training days and this would totally exhaust me by the end of the season.

So looking back, and changing my way of doing things, as I got older and wiser, I always found this was more of a sustainable approach. It certainly took away the mindset with people thinking that doing exercise meant hard work. It is only hard work when you push yourself into it from the start having a high expectation on how you should be (yes should be) doing things instead of listening to what your body is telling you first in order to allow your mindset to catch up and enjoy the process.

My client would always be concerned when I would say to them to work a 5 out of 10 because they would respond by saying that they are paying me to push them. Hmm! Interesting isn’t it – because they have been pushing themselves in their own minds and physically for years and where did it get them.

You need the mind to be working in unison with your body; otherwise, you will not get the desired results with ease. You will forever feel like you are pushing and putting out the heaps of energy with little result to show for it.

As soon as the client started working a 5 out of 10 on their selected cardio equipment, after 5 minutes I would ask them. “Now how do you feel out of 10?” “About a 7 out of 10” they would answer. “Great, keep going and let me know when you feel like an 8 out of 10.” As soon as they responded with an 8 out of 10, this was the time I knew their body and their mind was totally present and working in unison ready for maximum performance in their zone.

Maximise Productivity with Your Success Cycle

I’ll never forget the day when I had an insightful moment recognising that this same cycle also applies to all areas of life. I began practising consciously connecting all aspects of this mind and body connection into my professional and personal life.

Everything changed for the better. I noticed how I instantly became much more present when I was at home with my husband connecting with him after work instead of staying inside my busy head thinking of everything else that had to be done. I noticed myself connecting more to my gut feelings when making business decisions instead of listening to my head saying ‘you really should do this or that’. I noticed more of a flow inside my appointments set up for the day without the stress of racing from one appointment to another.

Life became an instant balance for me with peace of mind knowing that I had plenty of time to do the important things in my life.

This is what is known as body-mind-soul connection. Are you connected wit your body-mind-soul or are you pushing through your day feeling exhausted with no time to scratch yourself?

Consciousness is the key to real success in your professional and personal life. With conscious awareness, you will know the exact timing of what action is required to maximise your efforts. By practising this each day, you will gain greater insight into Your Success Cycle knowing this is what works best for you.

High achievers are often in a rush to get the results without setting up strong foundations.

I cannot tell you how often I hear clients say to me, “I just want to get back to basics.”

Never underestimate the basics. Strong foundations are made up of the basics.

It is always the basic everyday steps, which creates extraordinary results with momentum.

Persist and be patient with yourself. Keep on doing the important things being committed to Your Success Cycle with body-mind-soul connection.

5 Tips to Creating Strong Foundations:

1. Set up your Day to Win the Night Before

Diarise your priority actions inside realistic time frames. Make sure you have plenty of white spaces for yourself to expand on any new opportunities coming in.

2. Observe Yourself and Your Feelings (Ask this 1 Vital Question)

When you look at your next day’s schedule (the night before) – Ask yourself…

“Do I feel free, excited and accomplished when looking at my day set up for tomorrow?”

Yes it is possible to set your day up like this…I know because I will not step into my day without feeling this way first.

If you do not feel free, excited and accomplished about the day you are setting up, then I strongly suggest you cancel, change, re-arrange, add…whatever you need to do to adjust this. Stay inside Your Success Cycle.

3. Make Time for Yourself every day

One of the main reasons people feel overwhelmed about their day is because they do not make time to do the important things for themselves. Make this a PRIORITY.

4. Visualise your Ideal Day

When putting your head on the pillow at night, as you close your eyes, visualise your ideal day seeing yourself flowing through your day attracting ideal clients, inspiring your team, communicating with confidence, plenty of time for exercise, spending time with your family etc. Then gently nod off to sleep.

5. Notice your First Thoughts in the Morning

Are your first thoughts in the morning positive or negative? Notice whatever they are as this will be the theme for the day unless you take control of your thoughts and change them. Begin to be grateful from your heart for everything you have today in your life. Begin your day with the most powerful words in the universe “Thank You” and keep saying Thank You until you notice your energy shift into a natural flow of enthusiasm and excitement about your day.

Looking through the Magnifying Glass

One of the most common things I hear from people I coach in the first three months of their coaching journey is that they are seeing more and more areas in their professional and personal life that they feel they need to clear up – areas they were not even aware of!

This is quite normal when looking at change and wanting to transform those areas that may not be working for you. I call it ‘looking through the magnifying glass’. All of a sudden, you feel as if everything is right in your face and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible for you to move forward.

For example, you may want to spend more time with your family and doing other things important to you, yet your time is locked into your business life.

As you begin to take a closer look into what is not working in your personal and business life, you might realise you have challenges in areas like staff not taking on the roles and responsibilities you hired them for in the first place, identifying all the areas where you are crossing your own boundaries, high expectations of self and others, doing everything yourself and not asking for support, etc. No wonder your time is locked up in your professional life, giving you no space and time for flexibility and freedom.

‘The key to persistence is to focus on your vision, tune into your values and stay on your path at all times. Do not get swayed by other people’s vision and values.’

This is when it is easy for frustration; resignation and a sense of being overwhelmed can overtake your commitment. The key is to always remember that whatever you are looking at in your life is being looked at through a magnifying glass, giving the illusion that it is bigger than it really is. This occurs because when you start to focus and take action on things in your life that you would like to achieve, there will always be areas that you were not previously aware of, that also need to be managed to take you to the next step of achievement.

Coaching Tip – Gaining Clarity and Direction

Whenever I go into those feelings of frustration and being overwhelmed, one of the things that help to clarify my thoughts and focus is to get a blank sheet of paper and write down everything that is filling my head.

Try this – get it all out of your head and break it down into bite-size action pieces. This will take away the magnified illusion and will also free you from the magnified feelings.

‘Overwhelm’ and ‘frustration’ are the most common words I hear at the start of a coaching session, but after breaking down the challenges by writing them down, they quickly turn into ‘clarity’ and ‘direction’.

Staying focussed on your vision, mission and values is paramount when it comes to sustainable success as a champion leader.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

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Annette Stanton

“I see a world where leaders are being called to step up and out - to lead from their authentic self with greater connection.

My mission is to activate revolutionary leadership across the globe where leaders are living their highest vision and purposeful mission every day.”

Contact Annette
  • +61 8 9437 4820
  • annette@annettestanton.com