self care

How to increase your focus by doing exactly what you want

You know those days when you have a to-do list a mile long, but you can't seem to muster up the focus to actually sit down and do it? Yeah, that happens to me often! I used to think it's because I wasn't smart enough or discplined enough to be successful. So I would just cram more and more stuff onto that list, thinking "now I absolutely have to focus and complete this to-do list!"

I'm sure you can guess what happened... I still could barely sit down and focus on what needed to be done.

Then I made this POWERFUL correlation: the more tasks I added to my to-do list, the more I felt like I was drowning in work, and the less I felt like sitting down to do it.

When I feel like I'm buried in work, I become angry and resentful. "It's not supposed to be this way," I think. And once I reach that mindset, work becomes impossible!

Then came winter storm Juno.

My first thought was "great, now I can do all the work I seem to never get to."

Then, 20 minutes later, "I can't focus!!!!!"

So, I threw in the towel. Not what you expected me to say right? Here's why:

Sometimes, we just need to play!

Most days we work, work, work; keeping our heads down and closed to awesome opportunities for joy and happiness. But what's all that work for if there's no pleasure at the end of the tunnel?

And when you're feeling stuck, don't wait for that end of the tunnel to come to you! Give yourself time to play now! I guarantee it will renew your batteries and rejuvenate your spirit! And that may be just what you need to get your work done!

So, needless to say, this week I chose to play in the snow with friends and go sledding instead of making my weekly Vlog. I hope you find time to play too!

How did you play on your snow day? Share your favorite snow day traditions and pictures on the blog!

Vlog: My Miracle Morning

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How did your morning start out?

Was it bright, cheery, and full of energy right when you rolled out of bed? Or was it more like snooooooozzzze as long as possible, rush to get out the door, and curse towards the sky because it's Monday again?

Yeah, the second one? I thought so!

Many personal development coaches speak about the power of a positive and intentional morning. That a few key actions right when you wake up can make the difference in your day, and eventually your life

What do you think? 

So I've set out to attempt my own version of a miracle morning... Guess what I've found??! These little changes CAN make a huge difference in your day! Especially your attitude! 

Find out what changes I've made and see the results in the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbvYRPiaxNg

Don't forget to share your miracle morning experience in the comments section of the video! Hey - we can all learn a thing or two from each other, right?! What action steps did you take? And what changes did you see?

Want more?

Sign up for weekly videos, tips, and love here to be the first to get this info!

Be your best self,

Brittany

Vlog: Self Care is Essential!

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[video type="youtube" id="0njUhhG0_PY" width="624" height="351"] Happy Monday! Are you coming off of one of those weekends?! You know- the kind where you can't believe that you got no rest and feel even more tired than on Friday?

The likely culprit...No self care!

Think about it- what did you do for yourself over the weekend? This is not sustainable to not make time for yourself! You deserve to cared for too! Whether it's a bath, reading a book, or making time for exercise, it all goes into your emotional bank account.

Learn more about the emotional bank account and my self care catalogue in the video! Share your comments and self care success stories below!

Seminar Countdown!

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With only 7 days until the start of the Build Your Best Self seminar, I wanted to do a 12-days of Christmas-isque countdown. See 6 and 7 below:

Day 7

There are 7 days in a week. Each day provides us with a new opportunity to focus our intention, find clarity in action, and pursue our greatest desires. What did you do in your last 7 days? Come join us to find your focus!

6 Days until the Build Your Best Self seminar:

Experts say we are all connected by 6 degrees of separation. But even with the people we already know, doesn't it feel like we're separated by even more? It can be really difficult to open up to the ones we love and speak our truth. We have fears of rejection, seeming needy, and feeling vulnerable. In order to Build Your Best Self, you need to rally the support of those in your life. You need to learn to communicate effectively, ask for what you need, and speak from the heart. Have trouble doing that? See you May 1st then.

Find out more information about the seminar on my vlog and email me at brittany.drozd@gmail.com!

RI Fit Magazine

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Check out my article on Change Vs. Progress in RI Fit Magazine page 54!

Heard of RI Fit Magazine? They are RI's hottest and healthiest new resource for fitness, wellness, and overall health. Check out their April issue online or in print for FREE at hundreds of locations in and around Rhode Island. The best part is that they feature local Rhode Islander's that are fit and motivating! You'll probably see someone featured that you already know! #smallstate #RIproud

Change Vs. Progress

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“Only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.” Heard this before? Definitely rings true during tax season! But I’d like to propose that something else is certain as well: Change.

While it often seems that we’re stuck in a rut, we know that change will come. Why? Because it has every time before! We used to be little, then we grew. We used to have flip phones, now we have iPhones.  We used to have no clue about our health, now we’re educated on how to be healthy.

We know change is coming; yet we still talk about making changes as if it’s some elusive challenge. Change is certain. Progress is not.

So what’s progress? Progress in your fitness? Nutrition? Overall health? If change is anything different from the status quo, then progress is a change that is more specific, goal-oriented, and measurable. 

Progress is a measure of relativity. You’re moving towards change in a specific direction. Movement on that trajectory is identified as progress. If you altered your habits to lose weight, but it resulted in weight gain, this is change but not progress. If you started a healthy diet to lose weight, and we’re gradually losing the weight, this is progress.

You need a goal in order to measure progress from change. PS- “I want to be healthy” is not a goal, it’s a statement. Make sure your goal has specifics, a timeline, and is measurable.

Specifics: Try “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily” versus “I will eat healthy”. By articulating the specific thing you will do, you will be more likely to actually do it!

Timeline: Create timeframes, start dates, and deadlines for yourself. Otherwise, your “Someday” will likely never come. Here’s a sample of a timeline - “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily for 6 consecutive weeks, beginning March 9th.”

Measurement: How do you know you’re not at your goal already? How do you know if you’re making progress towards your goal? Most importantly, how will you know when you’ve reached your goal? Measurement. This is key to the whole process of making progress and achieving your best self.

Ask yourself these questions to assess your goal for measurability:

-       Can you count it?

-       Can you create a percentage from your results to determine your progress? (i.e. I ate 3 servings of veggies 3 out of 5 days thus far= 60% progress towards goal).

-       Can you make adjustments to your goal based on your findings from your percentage and experience? (i.e. maybe only 2 servings of veggies daily is more reasonable for you. Maybe 5 days weekly versus 7 is better for you).

*This is not to say that you should lower your standards, but continuing to progress on an adjusted goal is more beneficial than failing miserably on a strict, unattainable goal.

Ok, Let’s go over what we know:

-       We know that change will come. The question is how, when, and in which direction?

-       We know that progress is necessary for improvement, not just change.

-       We need a goal in order to distinguish progress from change.

-       Our goal needs to be specific, have a timeline, and be measurable in order to evaluate progress.

If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. So make a plan, make progress and achieve your goals. This success will build your momentum for future goals and future successes. Progress, not change, is necessary to become your best self.

Knock it off! (your to-do list, that is)

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Do you have a to-do list that feels like it's 10 miles long?! Yeah, me too!

Sometimes it seems that I can't move past a certain item or task on that list. For instance, an email I just won't sit down to write. A small task that I can't do because it's not fun. A correspondence I keep putting off and putting off because it will be awkward to have.

We can become hyper-focused on the obstacles we see in the situation versus the outcome we are striving for. This is we where you perfectionists and perfectionistas get stuck! You want that email to be perfect and that report to be exceptional, but you're not getting anywhere! 

I get it though! Our communication, work, and results are all products of us and say a lot about our abilities, skills, and discipline. But what is it saying when you don't return an email for 3 days waiting for those perfect words to come? Or staying up all night to perfect a report instead of spending time with your partner? Or taking time away from your own self-care to stress about something?

"Done is better than perfect."

Done means you get to cross it off the to-do list. Done means doing something fun after work. Done means getting that mental energy back for yourself. Done means moving forward.

Stop creating your own stress and move on! Here are 3 steps to getting over this hurdle:

- Let go of the idealism: if you would accept "good enough" sometimes from others, let that same rule apply to you!

- Promote self-love: Put yourself on your own to-do list; i.e. take a long bath, get a massage, read that book!

- Improve your balance: Not literally! Just make sure tasks and work time are equal to family, friends, and fun.

What are you stuck on right now? What's your plan to move forward and get stuff done?! Share your story below- it could help someone else out!

Happiness is a State of Mind

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I don't get outside often enough in the winter. But when I do, I'm very grateful for the experience. During winter, I hear people complaining all the time about the weather, the snow, how terrible it is to live in a cold climate, etc. Yes, I'm guilty of some of these statements too. But you know what? They are just excuses! Excuses not to be happy. Excuses not to enjoy our day. Excuses not to appreciate the beauty of winter and snow. Excuses not to take responsibility for the choice we made to live where we do.

No, I don't expect you to wake up everyday feeling full of gratitude for every single thing in your life. But this is what I expect of you:

Take responsibility for your own happiness.

Choose to appreciate versus disregard the beauty in your life.

Recognize your life's abundance.

Here's how I met my own expectations today! How did you meet yours? Leave a comment below!

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be your best self,

Brittany

What's your secret?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0H1zU2ytxA

We all have a story, and we all have secrets that we keep hidden due to shame, ego, or embarrassment. But what would happen if you shared your secret? And owned your truth? Would it set you free?

Watch this video and visit PostSecret.com to see how impactful sharing your secret can be! Which secrets did you connect with? Share your secret below...or tell us that you shared it on PostSecret.com!

So Thankful!

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In the midst of the holiday season we're traveling, cooking, shopping, and being busy bees! With so much going on, it can be so easy to lose sight of the real celebration- our abundance. We have so much to be thankful for, but we hardly have the time to sit down and think about all that we have in our lives. So my Thanksgiving starts now with a list of what I'm thankful for:

- My job: allowing me to share my gift with others and helping them become their best self!

- My family: for always being supportive and loving in whatever I wanted to do!

- My health: feeling good and strengthening my body with good food and fitness

- My husband: my always being my partner in crime and supporting my dreams

- My abundance: I have so much in my life, more than I need. And I'm thankful for that. But I also understand that's why I need to give back. I make every effort to bring my best self to the table everyday for those I work with, serve, and love. I deserve it, and you deserve it for me!

So what are you thankful for this year? What kinds of abundance do you have in your life?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Make Change Stick!

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Happy Monday! I know a lot of people who look at Mondays as an opportunity for a fresh start and chance to make a change. What's something you want to change? So what do people do to make this change stick? Yes, I can eat a very healthy meal and I can exercise for 3 days in a row. But what makes for lasting change? What determines the success of those are able to make stick it out?

Here are 5 ways people have made lasting lifestyle changes in their lives:

- Hit rock bottom to face change: Being forced to lose weight or exercise due to severe health consequences (i.e. diabetes).

- Take baby steps: Set a realistic change goal for your diet by eliminating one food item at a time.

- It takes a village: Get a support team in place that you can call in a time of need. Kind of like a change sponsor!

- What's in your environment: Are you trying to drink less but work at a bar? Hmmm.... Consider working somewhere different to increase the likelihood of your success. Can't change your job? Look at smaller changes that will influence your behavior.

- Take Einstein's advice: The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." So if you've tried to make a change and it's not working, Albert says to try something else!

Let's hear it! What are doing to make a change in your life? I want to hear what's working and what hasn't for you! Comment below now!

Are you an RPP?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGRElcrlTEk

Are you a Really Productive Person? Do you wake up with the drive and clarity to get things done? No? It's okay, there's still hope for you :)

This video lists four tips that can increase your productivity, focus, and desire to get things done! And I couldn't say this any better than Marie Forleo did. Here are her four tips:

- Love time! Don't hate it! Or you will surely dread it. Put a positive frame on time to make for a positive use of time.

- Have a morning routine: this ensures you kick to day off right. Eat a power breakfast, walk, read the paper, then take on your day!

- Exercise daily: it leads to increased focus and energy!!

- Don't break an appointment with yourself: I know you've heard me say this before! You are just as important as anyone else you schedule in your appointment book. So don't stand yourself up!

Which of these tips do you find most helpful? What methods are you already using to increase your productivity? Share your secrets in the comments below!

New Profile on GoodTherapy.org

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GoodTherapy.org is an exemplary directory to find the best therapist for you! Not only do they verify credentials, but they only allow therapists on the site if they practice "empowering, non-pathologizing, and collaborative" therapy with clients. Our missions are so closely aligned, so I signed up! Check out my profile to see for yourself!

Acceptance and Change

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In psychotherapy, we often speak of self-love and acceptance as modalities to move on from our past and parts of ourselves we are unhappy with. For instance, a therapist may suggest that someone who is now clean and sober accept this aspect of who they are and the choices they made when they were drinking. However, people who are motivate to change likely aren't satisfied with themselves in some regard, and are looking to make a positive change. So, working towards self acceptance while trying to initiate change is very difficult.

So how do we do it?!

Originally developed by Marsha Linehan out of the University of Washington, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has proven to be an effective modality in achieving self-acceptance and simultaneously creating positive change. In a nutshell, DBT incorporates Buddhist mindfulness techniques in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy to promote acceptance and generate change.

DBT was initially developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. However, research also supports positive outcomes for using DBT with people diagnosed with mood disorders (anxiety/depression/bipolar), trauma survivors, substance use disorders, and those engaging in self-injurious behaviors.

DBT uses 4 modules to facilitate this process:

1. Mindfulness: observing yourself and your environment non-judgmentally (acceptance).

2. Distress Tolerance: recognizing and accepting negative situations instead of avoiding or becoming overwhelmed by them (acceptance).

3. Emotional Regulation: Identify obstacles to changing emotions, and use mindfulness to learn about emotions (change).

4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: learning assertiveness and interpersonal problem solving that preserves relationships (change).

 

So what techniques can you take away from this and practice today?

-Ground yourself; use deep breathing and meditation to stay present.

-Self soothe when stress; using music or other activities you enjoy.

-Improve communication; use "I Feel" statements to better share your emotions.

What works for you? What's your go-to coping skill? How do you share your feelings with others? Comment below!

10 tips for a healthy life from the World's oldest person

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Ever have a tough time getting up on a cold fall morning because you feel achy? Or feel really old because you can't keep up with teenage trends? Think again! Mr. Kimura of Japan recently passed at the ripe age of 116. And according to the article at the link below, he seemed very quick witted until the end.

Mr. Kimura lists 10 ways you can try to surpass his accomplishment of living to 116. These are some of my favorites:

- Exercise daily - Let your struggles make you stronger - Be one with Mother Earth - Practice gratitude

http://bit.ly/19dOi8C

What do you do to live 100+ years? Share your secret!

Depression as Comedy?

http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_breel_confessions_of_a_depressed_comic.html Kevin Breel, a 19 year-old comedian, displays an incredible amount of awareness and bravery as he describes his battle with depression. Beyond his personal struggle is a greater issue: the stigma and ignorance that still clouds the importance of mental health.

What can you learn from Kevin? How can we be more loving of each other and ourselves? How can we support those in need, not push them away?