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Tag Archives: Margaret Smith life coach

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea? Or thought of something you needed to do as soon as you stepped into the shower? Or had a poignant thought in the middle of a Zoom meeting, but didn’t want to interrupt the flow?

And then…the thought left your head. No matter how hard you tried to recall your brilliant idea, you could not.

This happens to me, and I’m guessing we’ve all experienced something similar. One way to capture these fleeting ideas is through note-taking apps.

That may sound simple (and it is), but the trick is getting into a note-taking habit. If this isn’t something you’ve done, you’ll have to train yourself to recognize when you’ve had a poignant thought, pause, and jot down the note. Tiago Forte, author of Building a Second Brain, says that it helps to view ourselves as “givers of notes to our future selves.” In a three-minute interview by Daniel Pink, Forte describes the benefits of note-taking apps and suggests a number of different apps to try, including:

Another advantage of note-taking apps is that they can keep all your thoughts organized in a single place. Instead of sifting through folders, documents, emails and tabs to find information, everything can be collected into one central hub. Plus, you can use the search feature to quickly identify what you’re looking for.

In a nutshell: using note-taking apps can help capture ideas and keep you organized. It’s a great way to grab ahold of those momentary flashes of brilliance and record them. You never know when your next big idea will strike!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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There’s something about new beginnings. They tend to fill us with hope, energize us, and drive us to make positive changes (whether minor or major). The new year is the perfect time for a fresh start and a new outlook. Whether you’re trying to set goals for yourself, making positive life changes, or simply attempting to start the year off on the right foot, committing to the new year with an optimistic outlook is the perfect way to stay motivated.

The truth is, it’s easy to be dragged down by negativity or everyday annoyances (a flat tire, a poorly timed illness, a co-worker that can’t seem to turn in their assignments on time).

But it’s important to remember that dwelling on the bad can exacerbate your problems and pull you into a negative downward spiral. Marque Medical reports that people with high levels of negativity are “more likely to suffer from degenerative brain diseases, cardiovascular problems, digestive issues, and recover from sickness much slower than those with a positive mindset.” That, alone, should be reason to adopt an optimistic attitude!

Another reason to practice positivity is tied directly to productivity and performance. Those who see the glass half full tend to perform better in their jobs and in life, in general. Amazingly, this applies to companies as well. Companies that tend to be more optimistic have been found to be more productive.

How to Adapt a Positive Outlook?

Committing to the new year with a positive outlook means keeping your attitude in check, recognizing that one setback doesn’t define failure, and understanding that you will go through seasons of success and adversity. It also means being aware of your thoughts and prioritizing positivity by actively looking for the good in each situation.

Use the new year to set yourself up for success and become more optimistic. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

1. Identify your biggest fears and insecurities and make a plan for how you can address and conquer them.

2. Make time to do something that you enjoy thoroughly—take a walk, go to the gym, paint, bake cookies.

3. Look for something to be grateful for every single day, like strong relationships, career opportunities, or simply your own health.

4. Practice self-care and positive affirmations. Remind yourself that you are capable and strong.

5. Look for opportunities to learn from failures and mistakes—and use them as growth moments.

6. Focus on solutions rather than problems.

Starting the new year with a positive outlook can be a challenging, but rewarding, undertaking. It requires dedication, self-awareness, and actively looking for the good in every situation. By embracing these steps and striving for optimism, you can better equip yourself for a successful year, both personally and professionally. Positivity often brings with it greater productivity, improved relationships, and even improved physical health. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to kick off the new year with a renewed sense of optimism!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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Happy holidays! Many people try to relax during this time of year—perhaps attending holiday gatherings or taking a vacation. But many of us struggle with truly relaxing. Modern life has a way of moving quickly…even when you’re trying to slow down.

According to the Center for Integrated Healthcare, there are numerous benefits of deep relaxation. These include reduced anxiety, improved sleep, better concentration, and even improved digestion. But how do you get into a state of relaxation when so many things are vying for your time and attention?

This week, let’s talk about 4 factors that tend to derail relaxation, and how to prevent them from doing so.

1. Notifications

Picture this: You’ve settled in at the dinner table and you’re about to eat a relaxing, homecooked meal with your family. Then, your phone dings and you see that someone has commented on a picture you posted on Instagram. You start dishing up your plate, but your phone dings again. This time, it’s giving you an update on your favorite sports team. Ding! You have a Twitter notification. Ding! An eBook on your wish list is on sale.

Before you know it, your mind is caught up in all the activity on your phone. You’re distracted, and your family dinner no longer feels relaxing. You want to hurry up and get through it so you can attend to all these notifications.

Few things clamor for our attention like our phones. The average person will pick up their phone 58 times per day. It’s clear phones have us on a tight leash!

To combat the pressure to always pick up your phone, try some of the following tactics:

  • Turn off app notifications
  • Periodically put your phone in airplane mode
  • Use an app to track screen time (this will help put things in perspective!)

2. Emails

For many of us, emails take up a large portion of the day. We see an email come in, and we’re immediately pressured to respond. Even if we choose to ignore an email for a while, we know it’s there, hanging out in the back of our minds.

I urge you to set healthy boundaries by taking control of your email. You might choose to only check and reply to email 2-3 times per day. Or you can set a firm “cut off” point (say 5:30 p.m.) where you mute your inbox and step away from emails.

3. Poor Sleep

It’s tough to feel fully relaxed if you’re lacking in the sleep department. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with catching enough zzz’s, and that can make everything more difficult. You can’t be the best version of yourself if you’re running on four hours of sleep and an abundance of caffeine.

To practice good sleep hygiene, try the following best practices:

  • Shut off all screens one hour before bedtime
  • If you’re using screens at night, use blue-light filtering glasses
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Don’t eat immediately before bedtime
  • Remove screens (like TVs) from your bedroom
  • Invest in a good pillow that fits your sleep style (side, back, etc.)

4. Over-Planning

If you’ve over-planned a holiday, it can be difficult to find the relaxation amidst the bustle. You might end up feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation! (See my past blog post on planning a relaxing vacation.)

If you can’t help your planning tendencies, try adding downtime into your schedule of events. Though it may seem strange, it can be immensely helpful to set aside “do nothing” time. This will essentially give you permission to relax, unwind, and go with the flow. You can fill this space if you want, but there’s no pressure to be up and about, doing things. Instead, grab a book, play a game, take a walk, or simply enjoy being present.

Even in our busy, distraction-filled lives, it is possible to relax. Take control of your schedule (and your phone!), don’t over-plan, and focus on being present. You’ve earned it.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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