Daily Success Habits: 12 Habits I Try To Do Everyday

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  1. Working out or stretching: Do something active every day. Ideally going to the gym, taking a class. I try to get it in before lunchtime these days with a newborn.
  2. Read personal development book: Something positive and encouraging so I can learn something.
  3. Review goals: I review my annual goals so I know where I am headed. This will impact what I do that day and the ideas I have. My best ideas come while driving and while in the shower. Not working is when I have the best ideas. Reviewing my goals helps get those ideas flowing.
  4. Gratitude journal: Everyday I write down three things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. When you’re grateful for the things you have, those things instantly increase. The more gratitude you feel, the happier you will be. Studies show people who practice gratitude have closer relationships, are more connected to family and friends and have people look upon them more favorably.  Even being thankful for your boss will give you more patience, understanding, compassion, and kindness. You will forget about the things you use to complain about them if you are thankful for them. I once had a very tough client in my previous corporate consulting job who was not nice to me AT ALL, but I was and still am SO THANKFUL to her for showing me how to handle difficult clients and situations with class. This is exactly why I make it a habit in my morning routine to write down three things I am grateful for each day. It just makes me happier and gives me a better outlook for the day.
  5. Affirmations: If you listen to last week’s podcast, you know how much I believe in affirmations. Repeating positive statements every single day. I’ve been doing this with my daughter lately and we’ve been saying, I choose to make today the best day of my life.
  6. Journal/write: write a blog post or write in my 5-year journals for my daughter memories of our days. This is another form of gratitude for myself and my writing my blog helps me help others and that makes me happy. Sometimes its just writing an Instagram post on my @annarunyan account. As long as I’m doing this daily I feel better.
  7. Drink water: Fill up four bottles of water in the fridge the night before and try to drink them throughout the day.
  8. Work on my top priority: I have three priorities every week so every day I try to do something that will help me complete that priority.
  9. Vitamins: Gotta take them!
  10. Meditation: Even if its 30 seconds of shutting my eyes. Quiet is really hard to find in my house!
  11. Green smoothie: Spinach every day!
  12. Devotional: Reading my bible or daily devotionals that I get sent to me every day. Habits make them easy for you.

Come follow my Instagram accounts, Classy Career Girl and Anna Runyan to see the behind the scenes of me doing these habits each and every day!

One last thing: Remember this. You can create your future! You are in control of your calendar, your day, your response to what happens in your life. You can make your dreams happen. I believe in you! Let’s make do it!

Have a great day and I’ll see you next time!

The Best List You’ll Ever Make To Be More Effective

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By MARY LEE GANNON

We all have to-do lists, project objectives, metrics and planners to help keep us on track in our daily lives. Each year we set high expectations and even with these tools we find ourselves frustrated because we don’t have the structure, systems, or accountability in place to achieve our goals. Couple that with doubt and indecision and you have a perfect recipe for anxiety. In the worst case this leads to action paralysis.Let’s talk about the best case. Most people know what they need to do to be happy, effective and thrive just not how to do it or what to do with doubt and fear. We spend enough time telling ourselves how we are not equipped to succeed and armoring up against failure by being risk averse. We wallow proficiently on what it is we need to do but spend less time feeling what it would be like to actually live the dream and executing a plan to get there. Guarding against danger is how we have evolved as a species and not become extinct.

We are Jedis at searching the environment for danger. We are not innately good at promoting ourselves into opportunity. Opportunity isn’t essential to stay alive. Staying safe is. Let’s reverse the pattern.

The purpose of creating this list is: 1) to give you definition around the areas where you thrive so that you can spend more time there especially when challenged, and 2) to build self-awareness around opportunities for growth that increase your executive presence and effectiveness.

The best list you’ll ever make to be more effective

Create two columns, side by side, on a sheet of paper numbered one to 10. A word document is good for this exercise so that you may modify it as time goes on.

 FIRST COLUMN: Label this “I AM THIS”

  1. Think of a time from your childhood when you were at your very best – happy, included, a star.  Write down 3 words that describe who you were in that situation.  What were you doing, thinking and feeling and how were you behaving? Examples: Listening, Planning, Being Vulnerable, Compassionate, Gentle, Strong, Tenacious, Resourceful, Confident, Capable, Open.    
  2. Think of a time professionally when you were at your very best and write down 3 words that describe what you were doing, thinking and feeling and how you were behaving.
  3. Think of a peak personal moment where you felt appreciated, respected, effective and write down 4 more words that describe who you were in that situation.

SECOND COLUMN: Label this “NOT THAT”

    1. Next to each entry in Column 1 write what you are doing when you are NOT at your best specific to the corresponding behavior beside it. This should reflect what you exhibit or the feel when you are NOT leading from that point of strength. If your point of strength is ‘Tenacious’ what are you doing when you don’t feel that? Weak? Ineffective? Examples for NOT THAT words are: Threatened, Criticized, Afraid of ____, Distracted, Losing Control, Abandoned, Disappointed, Challenged.

The list on the left is who you truly are at your core. This list on the right is what happens to you when you don’t feel that way. Knowledge is power so be honest when you create the list. Now when you feel one of the negative feelings or exhibit one of the negative behaviors from the second column revisit the first column to see precisely what you need to focus on to get back to a position of strength. For more career strategies get the FREE report: 31 Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World. https://www.maryleegannon.com/31-success-practices-for-leaders

 Challenging situations occur in everyone’s lives that often impart feelings of despair. Fear can set in followed by repeated defensive behaviors that draw you away from your ability to thrive in your career, goals and relationships with confidence.  Post this list where will you will see it every day to remind yourself of where your strengths lie and what to focus on when negative feelings or behaviors surface. 

Next time you are feeling anxious look at this list and the correlating positive word that is at your core. That is the very thing you want to reflect on, meditate on, create a plan around. Now you have an actionable strategy to reverse the negativity!

7 Easy Ways to be Mindful Every Day

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“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” according to Marsha Lucas, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Rewire Your Brain for Love.

There are many simple ways you can be more mindful. Here are seven tips to incorporate into your daily life.

1. Practice mindfulness during routine activities. Try bringing awareness to the daily activities you usually do on autopilot, said Ed Halliwell, mindfulness teacher and co-author of the book The Mindful Manifesto.

For instance, pay more attention as you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating breakfast or walking to work, he said. Zero in on the sight, sound, smell, taste and feel of these activities. “You might find the routine activity is more interesting than you thought,” he said.

2. Practice right when you wake up. According to Lucas, “Mindfulness practice first thing in the morning helps set the ‘tone’ of your nervous system for the rest of the day, increasing the likelihood of other mindful moments.” If you find yourself dozing off, as Lucas does, just practice after having your coffee or tea. But “…don’t read the paper, turn on the TV, check your phone or email, etc. until after you’ve had your ‘sit,’” she said.

3. Let your mind wander. “Your mind and brain are natural wanderers – much like a crawling toddler or a puppy, Lucas said. And that’s a good thing. Having a “busy brain,” Lucas said, is actually an asset. “The beneficial brain changes seen in the neuroscience research on mindfulness are thought to be promoted in large part by the act of noticing that your mind has wandered, and then non-judgmentally – lovingly [and] gently— bringing it back,” she said.

4. Keep it short. Our brains respond better to bursts of mindfulness, Lucas said. So being mindful several times a day is more helpful than a lengthy session or even a weekend retreat. While 20 minutes seems to be the gold standard, starting at a few minutes a day is OK, too.

For instance, you can tune into your body, such as focusing “on how your shoes feel on your feet in that moment, or giving attention to how your jaw is doing [such as, is it] tight, loose or hanging open at the audacity of the person in front of you in the coffee line?” Lucas said.

5. Practice mindfulness while you wait. In our fast-paced lives, waiting is a big source of frustration – whether you’re waiting in line or stuck in traffic. But while it might seem like a nuisance, waiting is actually an opportunity for mindfulness, Halliwell said. When you’re waiting, he suggested bringing your attention to your breath. Focus on “the flow of the breath in and out of your body, from moment to moment and allow everything else to just be, even if what’s there is impatience or irritation.”

6. Pick a prompt to remind you to be mindful. Choose a cue that you encounter on a regular basis to shift your brain into mindful mode, Lucas said. For instance, you might pick a certain doorway or mirror or use drinking coffee or tea as a reminder, she said.

7. Learn to meditate. “The best way to cultivate mindfulness in everyday life is to formally train in meditation,” Halliwell said. He compared practicing mindfulness to learning a new language. “You can’t just decide to be fluent in Spanish – unless you already are – you have to learn the language first,” he said. “Practicing meditation is how to learn the language of mindfulness.” Meditation helps us tap into mindfulness with little effort, he said. He suggested finding a local teacher or trying out CDs.

Mindfulness isn’t a luxury, Lucas said, “it’s a practice that trains your brain to be more efficient and better integrated, with less distractibility and improved focus. It minimizes stress and even helps you become your best self.”

Lucas cited Richard Davidson’s research at the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, which shows that all of us have an emotional “set point.” “Some of us have more of a tendency toward withdrawal, avoidance, negative thinking and other depressive symptoms, [whereas] others have a greater tendency toward positive moods [such as, being] curious, tending to approach new things and positive thinking,” she said. Davidson has found that through mindfulness, we may be able to train our brains and shift our set points.

“Mindfulness practice now has an abundance of neuroscience research to support that it helps our brains be more integrated, so your everyday activities, thoughts, attitudes [and] perceptions…are more balanced [or] well-rounded,” Lucas said.