self-help

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!

Truth! You can't handle the truth!

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Do you ever feel like you're fooling yourself into believing your happy with the way things are in your life? Or make judgments of others to elevate yourself? Our brains have a funny way of tricking us into believing the BS we sometimes feed ourselves. Such as:

- I can't find anyone I like

- I don't know why I'm not getting healthier

- I'm stuck in a life I don't love

None of these things are true. But you tell yourself these false statments in order to avoid what you really need to do - speak your truth. Your Truth knows that you're not being honest with yourself about these issues. And if you were, the answers would come to you. You would know what you need to do to change it!

Satya, a part of yoga beyond the poses, encourages you to examine your truth and live it!

Watch this week's video as Elizabeth Guardia and I describe how you can find your truth and put it into action now!

{http://youtu.be/HCvIouqTk1U}

So, do you have a story of when you got in touch with your truth, and it changed your life? Well don't be greedy and keep that all to yourself! Share your strategies with the rest of us in the comments section or on the blog! 

Put more soul in your goals for 2015

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Now that the hype of New Year's is upon us, you will feel pressured into a New Year's resolution or goal of some kind. But the problem with that is if it doesn't come from your soul - the place of your truth and knowing - then it's not going to last long.

When you make resolutions from you head, that's just where they stay - in your head! Think about it. A goal of eating more vegetables, exercising more, or losing weight is not something you feel in your soul!

A re-soul-ution looks at the bigger picture: Who do you want to become? How do you want your life to look? Those are the questions that re-soul-utions are born out of!

How will you go all in and trust yourself with a re-soul-ution this year?

Watch this week's video to create your own re-soul-ution now!

{http://youtu.be/TW9jOssnP-g}

I've been receiving awesome feeback and questions from you guys to my inbox. But I'd love it even more if we can create a powerful conversation in the comments section of this video! Share your love there :) Pretty please!

Will you be Brave?

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I'm curious... Have you ever gone to someone for advice or feedback and felt they were just telling you what you wanted to hear? Or feel like they weren't even really listening to you at all and just agreeing for the sake of it?

Even our closest, most-trusted "go-to" people can give us sugar-coated feedback. But hey, they don't want to hurt our feelings! So cut them some slack, right?

In graduate school, I had a professor/mentor give me the most honest (and boderline confrontational) advice I had ever heard. I was complaining about someone and she basically said, "have you thought about how your actions impact the situation."

I was stunned and offended at first. I thought 'you're supposed to be on my side!' The immature child in me wanted to run for the hills and never return because of shame and embarrasment. This was my professor after all!

But what I did was sit there and actually think about what she said. She clearly saw something that I could not see. She said to me what no one else had yet cared enough to say. And the encounter changed my life and the way I relate to others.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I want to give you the same gift. I want to have those tough conversations with you. I want to push you to be better. And sometimes it will hurt.

So this week I want to challenge you to be brave. When you come in to see me next, talk about the issue you've been neglecting to mention...the thing that's really nagging you. Ask for the feedback you know you need to make real change in your life. Be courageous enough to receive the feedback.

Or, if you've never come in before, take that leap to face the feedback you know you need to hear! Be brave!

{WATCH the video for my promise to you!}

Were YOU Brave? Share your comments and experience in the section below the video (on YouTube) or in the comments section on the Blog.

Create the Best Weekend Ever!

Brittany Drozd
Brittany Drozd

What if I told you that you have all the power in the world to make yourself as happy as you want to be?

Chances are you wouldn’t believe me. That’s because our consumption-oriented and instant-gratification seeking culture tells us that we can buy happiness. And to some extent, it works! We are happier in the moment of making purchases and enjoying them shortly afterward. But this kind of happiness is fleeting.

The reason why these purchases make us happy is that we’re excited and engaged in the process of actually buying them. That’s the key- being and staying present!

Ever go to dinner with friends and realized the time has flown and it’s 3 hours later? Or been into a great book and realize you haven’t checked your phone in forever?! That means you’ve been present and stayed in the moment!

Matt Killingsworth, of Harvard University, gave a brilliant TED Talk in which he outlined his research on happiness. Killingsworth concluded, “We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.”

This is even true of activities we despise - like traffic. Killingsworth assessed that when commuters are more present and engaged in their commute, they are happier than when driving while talking on their phones, on social media, or reading emails. You make think you’re being productive, but you’re just making yourself unhappy!

So how do you stay present?

This super easy tactic is bound to make you more conscious and present: ask yourself, “Is my head in the same place my feet are in?” You have the opportunity to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing your mind on what you’re currently doing.

Why does a wandering mind make us so unhappy?

When our minds wander, they typically go to a few common destinations:

-       What I wish I were doing

-       What I wish I had

-       And who I wish I was

The space that exists between where you’re at now (doing, have, are) and where you wish you were (doing, have, are) is cognitive dissonance.  The incongruence that exists in how we feel about ourselves can be very uncomfortable and disheartening. This is the juice of what makes us unhappy.

What can you do about?

The good news is that cognitive dissonance exists only in our minds. We give it life, so we can also lay it to rest. Here’s how to erase dissonance in your life:

-       Activity: Think about the purpose behind what you’re doing right now. Is your current activity bringing you closer to a goal? If it’s a means to a greater goal, can you reframe your thinking around the activity? How engaged are in what you’re doing right now?

-       Possessions: Do you have everything you need? If you’re reading this article, the answer is likely “yes.” Only once all of our basic needs are met do we have the mental capacity to consider self-development, fitness, and lifestyle. There will always be someone with more possessions than you, but if you have everything you need, can you find more gratitude for that? Make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for right now!

-      

Who You Are:

We all have areas of shame in our lives that we usually don’t speak about. Our job, money, family, body, etc. But often these thoughts get out of control when our minds wander and stretch beyond reality. We make conclusions about ourselves aren’t even close to reality. Change this by staying present!

Take your weekend to the next level by using this tools to be present and live happier right now!

Use the #BYBS hashtag in all pics and posts of a happier you!

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!

Recovering to Good Health

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  It's sad but true: there is a stigma attached to mental health. Especially for men.

What would you're road to good health look like if this weren't the case? What could you overcome if you reached out for help?

Read my friend Josh Bird's excellent article on mental health and fitness for men. Check out his shout-out to me too!

http://crossfitprovidence.com/2014/04/23/recovering-to-good-health/

Find out what's missing TODAY!

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Included in the Build Your Best Self seminar is my Status and Strategy Assessment ($199 value). Get a peek of what the 4-page assessment looks like. This is a great tool to find out EXACTLY:

• What’s missing in your life

• What’s stealing your drive and motivation

• What’s causing lack of clarity and keeping you from moving forward

• What clouds your vision and prevents you from formulating an action plan

• What you can start doing TODAY to achieve greater success

Get it FREE when you sign up for the seminar!

The Build Your Best Self seminar begins May 1st! Contact me to reserve your spot!

Vlog: Why you'll never find clarity

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmQK3sYxWlA

How many self-help books have you read, experts you'd consulted, and methods have you tried to find clarity?! Still not "clear"? That's what I thought. Find out what no one tells you about gaining clarity, but is the one thing that works!

Law of Attraction

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Do you believe in the law of attraction? That "like attracts like". That by focusing on a positive thought or energy can actually bring positivity into your life? Oh, so you're a skeptic, huh? That's fine. I see people like you all the time. They're usually the ones jealous of others, depressed about their own life, and don't know how to get what others have. I'm not saying that's you... but maybe it is?

Do you have that friend or acquaintance that seems to keep winning the lottery over and over again? He seems to have the best life, keeps getting promoted, and is always smiling? Yeah, the one you love to hate.

What does he have that you don't?

Well, lets start with the smile: Studies show that even if we force ourselves to smile, there is a positive chemical response in our bodies; therefore resulting in you feeling happier. When you smile, other people smile back at you. Amazing! I'm saying that if you exude positivity, then it will come right back at you!! Who wouldn't want that?

Want to feel more connected to the important people in your life? Your partner, family, close friends? What are you doing now to create those connections? Who have you called out of the blue today? Did you send your partner an unexpected text/email about how much they mean to you? Oh don't have time for that? Right. If you can't make time to give your love to the people who mean the most to you, I have no idea what you could be doing that's more important!

It may feel awkward at first, but the more regularly you practice sending love and positivity, the more natural it will feel. If you feel it in your heart already, then it naturally wants to come out. Stop blocking love! Anndddd I'm not a psychic, but I would bet that you will get more love and positivity sent your way in return! Now who's feeling warm and fuzzy?!

But this isn't just about love and positivity. The Law of Attraction can be used to attract health, money, and confidence too.

Want to improve your health? Spend time working on it, educating yourself on the topic, and surrounding yourself with others doing the same thing. It won't be long before you've made lifestyle changes for a healthier you.

I often use the phrase "be your best self." The Law of Attraction is imperative to this phrase. You can only become your best self by radiating positivity, actively pursuing improvement, and creating opportunities for success. When all these things come flying back at you (law of attraction), it will be impossible to stop you from growing to become your best self.

By this point, you're either feeling inspired or frustrated that I've outlined this task for you to attract positivity. The inspired may start smiling more today. While the frustrated will continue to scoff at the unlikelihood that the Law of Attraction is even possible. Which will you be? And in return, which will you attract?

sending positivity your way,

Brittany

Is your life a disorganized bookshelf?

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'Is she really comparing my life to a bookshelf?' you might be asking yourself. The answer is yes. If you're like me, then your life IS like a disorganized bookshelf.

What do I mean? Our mind works like a series shelves and compartments. We see something, think something, experience something, and then we categorize it. These categories act as compartments and cubbies in our brains- strictly organizing the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of ourselves and others accordingly.  The categories, compartments, and cubbies are created based on our mental schemas, or mind frames. For instance, if you're religious, you may believe that premarital sex is bad. That belief acts a blueprint for other thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to be categorized. So if a friend shares something about their relationship, you may categorize them as good or bad based on your pre-developed schema. Got it?

Make space in your bookshelf. Make space for new ideas, feelings, and a new schema. Think about the schemas and mind frames your parents hold. How are yours similar and different? How did you develop different schemas than your parents on the same principles/thoughts? Your experience! And thank goodness for it! If our thoughts and perspective stayed the same for generations, then we wouldn't have civil rights and marriage equality.

So how are the cubbies on your bookshelf serving you? Or not serving you? What categories should you eliminate, combine, or make more room for? Hint: Making more room to explore your rationalization for certain schemas, being open to new schemas, and new labels for healthier schemas is key! Until we accept our need for growth and make it a priority, your bookshelf will appear full and crowded. Get rid of what's not serving you for some new books (ideas)!

Your bookshelf is for practicing containment. For instance, one cubby of your bookshelf (the self-help section!) may be overflowing with books, going all different directions, and very few have actually been read. Sound familiar? You may have some anxiety around wondering 'Am I good enough? I feel like an impostor. I'm lacking fulfillment.'  You may have found several things that could be helpful, but you're not sure what's actually going to work. Feeling some uncertainty? Overwhelm? So how well can you sit with these feelings- the anxiety, uncertainty, incompetence? My guess is not good. Most of us struggle with these feelings.

What can you do about it? Become an observer of yourself! Take a step back and look at what you do when you experience these feelings. Do you rush out to buy another book or "something that will make the feeling go away?" Observe the feeling and your reactions to it without being judgmental. Take responsibility for the feeling by stating them out loud - "I'm don't feel adequate in my job."

When you're immediate remedy doesn't alleviate the feeling (buying that book), what's your next move? Tip: placing judgment on yourself or the feeling won't help here. So don't hate, appreciate. The feelings are signals. That's it. Use them as such. What are they really trying to tell you? Tip #2: it's usually not the surface thing you think it's telling you. Dig deeper by observing. Contain the feelings not but suppressing them, but by allowing them some space on your bookshelf, acknowledging them (out loud!), and being aware of your reactions to them.

So how will you clean up your bookshelf? Here are some suggestions:

- Get rid of the books (mental schemas) that aren't serving you. i.e. You're not good enough, You will never succeed. These aren't good books, trust me :)

- Reorganize the books your want to keep. Know where to find books like You Are Loved and You have support at a moments notice. These are the best books to reread as needed!

- Leave open space on your bookshelf for future readings. Being open to new ideas about yourself and world requires mental space to do so. So make room for the You that will continue to grow and evolve in your career, relationships, and life.

Tell us about your mental bookshelf below. How have you organized it for the better? Share your experience now!

Did you eat your veggies today?

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I get this awesome box of veggies delivered straight to my work from VeggieBox.com each week. And best of all- all the food is from local farmers in my state if Rhode Island! I love smart initiatives like This that nourish our bodies, minds, and communities! What did you eat today? Share your best food choice below!

Straight Talk: be honest with yourself

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Ok, I'm going to be real with you- I've had a rough week. I was sick, didn't make it in to the gym, and felt completely off my game. I know, I know. I'm the one always posting about health and fitness, discipline, and goals. But you know what, some days I just don't have it. So I spent some time on the couch, eating poorly, and falling behind on my work. But honestly, who hasn't had those days/weeks/maybe months? Sometimes life happens and we don't get to focus on our goals 100%. I'm not telling you this as an excuse. I'm sharing because I think it's more important that we be honest with ourselves and love ourselves enough to allow for the down time when we really need it. My body needed some rest and recovery time last week. So I let it rest. End of story.

We can be so hard on ourselves at times that we don't think we "deserve" a break from the focus, or that we haven't earned a night of relaxation. We try to cling so tightly to our goals that our good intentions end up leading to feelings of self-hatred, disappointment, and anxiety around completing our goals. One thing that helped me these last few ways was a friend's video on "have to-dos" vs. "want to-dos". I realized I'm the one putting all this pressure on myself. So I can be the one to let go a little.

It's amazing the control and strength we can gain from letting go. We regain control of our emotions and negative thoughts that had been plaguing us. We get to take ownership of that to-do list and determine what can be delegated or cut from the list. We understand that allowing for a day of rest may actually give us the strength we need to be 100% focused for the rest of the week.

So I encourage you: let go of the control, give in to what you body needs; and you will come out restored, focused, and clear on how to conquer the goals you determined!

Have you had this experience? What did you learn about yourself? How did you reframe your actions for better long term results?