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Archive for category: Life Balance

Green is in Fashion

Green is in Fashion

It’s wonderful to see how so many companies are taking a green approach to their businesses. We’ve talked in previous blogs about how more companies see that having a social consciousness program helps their bottom line. At BBD, we are inspired to see how more and more companies are creatively inspiring green tactics that are far reaching and becoming critical to the literal and figurative fabric of the company.

Eileen Fisher is a privately held company whose brand goes back to 1980’s. The company is known for its simple designs and creative marketing. Since the early 2000’s the company has been making green programs as vogue as their clothing and has added social consciousness to its reputation. The company follows Social Accountability International (SAI) SA8000 standards to ensure social accountability in the work place. The majority of the cotton in their clothing is organic and colored with chemical free dies.

In 2011, the brand began an effort to keep clothing out of landfills as well as provide a funding source to support causes for which the company has a passion. Green Eileen was the eventual product. The program takes in “gently worn” Eileen Fisher clothes, gives donors a $5 gift certificate per item and resells them with all proceeds going to nonprofit groups that have a mission of empowering women.

For Eileen Fisher, sustainability is a way of doing business and it’s been hugely successful. The history of this brand shows that when social consciousness becomes a part of your culture, the answers to what were once tough questions become more and more obvious.  We see many brands and companies demonstrating that cradle-to-cradle processes like the Eileen Fisher model are not only possible, they can be a part of valuing business success.

At BBD, we support companies in reaching their goals for social impact and believe that 100% sustainability is possible. We are here to help you begin making a shift that will show your clients that you and your company have sustainable style.

Staying Sane During the Holidays

Staying Sane During the Holidays

Staying Sane During the Holidays – Is It Even Possible?

This is such a busy and exciting time of the year. The parties, the travel, the gifts, the cooking, the decorating – oh and you need to fit running a business or going to work in there somewhere.

Sometimes the Season of Giving can quickly become the Season of Overdoing.

How do you create a holiday season that is full of joy?Happy Holidays

Even for me – this year our holiday is completely different. With both of my kiddos living out west, we had to change up our holiday tradition. That means we are celebrating three weeks early! Yikes!

If there was ever a year that I needed to create a sane holiday – it is this one!

Here’s the Keeping the Holidays Sane List I came up with:

1. Reduce the Stress

Typically stress is caused by overdoing or having a to-do lists a mile long. Let’s face it, even when it isn’t the holiday season – we all have huge lists of stuff that needs done. This year get rid of the stuff that isn’t necessary. Do you really need to send out 200 holiday cards? Do you really need to bake 10 dozen cookies? Take a red pen to that list and cross off what isn’t a must do.

2. Slow Down

Regardless of how busy the day is, be committed to slowing down for a few minutes. Meditate, pray, go for a walk – just take a breather or two to ground yourself and regroup.

3. Stop the Comparison

This time of year it is easy to be a perfectionist or to try and keep up with the Jones’. Keep this part of the holidays in check. Is it really necessary to start the Elf on a Shelf? Do you need to have 1000 lights up outside to outshine the neighbor?

4. Laugh Often

Laughter is the best medicine, so even when the going gets tough – take time to laugh each and every day!

5. Get to the Heart of What Really Matters

What do the holidays really mean? What is important to you? Spend time with those that you love. Give back to those in need. And most of all take the time to enjoy what you have in your life. I promise that next year – you won’t even remember what kind of bows were on your presents 🙂

Here’s to your sanity!

5 Steps to Improve Your Time Management and Avoid Distractions

5 Steps to Improve Your Time Management and Avoid Distractions

5 Steps to Improve Your Time Management and Avoid Distractions

Staying Focused Is Time Management for the Important Things in Your Life

staying focusedMost everyone is aware of how difficult it can be staying focused.  With all the distractions around us, whether it’s the numerous interruptions caused by  technology, your family’s needs or your finances; not to mention your health, relationships and many other areas of your life – it is a miracle that we get anything done!

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Attaining Life Balance

Attaining Life Balance: Coach Help Me!

 Looking for advice on finding life balance?

life coachIn today’s world, you may often hear people talking about life balance, or about where to find the balance. What does balance look like? Is it possible to find it? Or is balance a place that is created in our minds, but not really achievable?

This week especially, has really forced me to focus on balance.  I can feel it starting to swing a bit too far to the other end of the pendulum.  I’ve noticed this happening in my clients’ lives too.

Let’s attempt an experiential approach to balance.

Stand up – yes stand up! Now BALANCE on one foot, for as long as you can.

What happened? Were you standing strong and grounded? Were you wobbly; doing your best to adjust your balance? Did you almost tip over?

Here are two important ideas around balance so you can attain it:

  1. Balance is different for everyone. What looks unbalanced to you, can be completely in balance for someone else. If the balance exercise occurred in a room full of people trying to stand on one foot, each person would look unique. The same thing happens in life. What you need for balance in your life is unique to you.
  2. Life balance does not mean equal. In life, balance does not mean that everything is equally divided. Even while you stand on one foot, there are times when you need to make adjustments. Balance changes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Some days will be wobbly and unsure, and some days will be strong and steady.

Finding your balance can be difficult, especially in today’s fast world of never-ending gadgets and instant gratification. Everything is moving so fast that it can be easy to get out of balance and sometimes not even notice.

The good new is: The only person who has control over your balance is YOU. No other person is capable of providing you balance!

The bad news is you need to recognize the signs when you are out of balance. You also need to recognize when you need help.

Common signs for feeling out of balance include:

  • Racing Thoughts
  • Exhaustion
  • Short Temper
  • Lack of Focus
  • Anxiety
  • Overwhelm
  • Frustration

Because life is so busy, it can be difficult to see the warning signs.

Recognizing them requires a daily self check-in; preferably during the morning before your day gets hectic. Take five or ten minutes and ask yourself “how am I doing”, “what do I need” and “what am I going to do about it”. Follow your inner voice and include the ‘nudge-nudge’ into your day.

If you can’t take the time for your daily check in, chances are pretty high that your life is already a little out of balance. If you find yourself feeling this way, maybe we should talk?

Put Down That Cape!

It is time that someone lets you know: There is no need to be a superhero!

super businessmanYes, it is time to lay down your cape!

What does that mean? It frees you up from doing it all!

You don’t need to be everything to everyone. Seriously, this mentality will quickly send you spiraling out of control – to a place of frustration, resentment, and mediocrity.

Regardless of whether or not you are a Type A personality that likes to have control over everything, or you just don’t like to say, “no”, finding a way to focus on what makes you shine and letting go of the rest will improve your quality of life and your quality of work.

5 Simple Tips on Saying “No”

1. Practice saying the word, “no”. Okay, so you don’t really need to practice it, but realize it is okay to actually say it! The world will not end or stop rotating because you said “no”. You are always at choice–it is in your control.

2. Look at your priorities. Before taking on a new challenge or project, be sure you do a check-in with your current priorities. What do you want to happen over the next 30 days? Is this new project in alignment with your longer-term goals?

3. Notice your reaction. If you are presented with a new project or option, and if your response is not a ‘Heck Yes’ response, then table the option for the future. It is okay to say that “‘right now’ is not the ‘right time’”.

4. No need for long explanations.  There is no reason to give a long explanation on why you are saying “no”. You don’t need to provide a detailed response. Sometimes when you try to over explain, it actually makes you look less confident. Stand strong in your “NO” – period.

5. Provide alternatives. If you really struggle with saying no, it is okay to provide alternatives instead. For example, if someone is interested in working on a project or joint venture with you and it is not an option for you, provide other leads or suggestions as a courtesy.

The funny thing is, the more you are able to say “no”, the more you look like the superhero! You are able to stand out and shine in what you are great at doing. You are in total alignment with your work and your strengths. Really! Don’t believe me? Give it a try.

Go ahead, what are you going to say “no” to this week?  Share with us below.

Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

As business professionals, we know that the strength of an organization depends on good leadership, strong practices and focused effort.  Just as important, is the time awork life balancend dedication you apply to your health, well-being and life success. I like to call this the Business of Living. Today’s blog post guides you in how to clarify, measure and maximize success in work life balance.

Together in a coaching relationship, my clients and I create systems or processes in order to build a strong foundation first.  As they take a leadership role in their life, they begin to live a life of integrity – a life that makes a powerful contributions to themself and to others. A new self emerges with increased confidence, inner peace, happiness and the ability to attract greater opportunities for work life balance.

The Leadership Principle I’d like to share with you today is the Life Mastery Process.

There are four cycles to this process:

1. Self Awareness : The #1 indicator of success and happiness.

It’s the core of who you are – your needs, values, interests, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, talents, habits, experiences, etc.  This identifies your current state and determines where you want to go with your life.

2. Strategy/Structure:  Accountability.

This is about managing your progress with goal setting, boundaries, priorities, visualization, journaling, affirmations and other success practices that help you achieve your desired state.

3. Behavior Change: Creating changes that become automatic.

New behaviors might be setting boundaries, adding value, being present, managing your self talk, living with an attitude of gratitude, etc.

4. Results/Learning: What’s working and what isn’t?

As you experience change, you begin to apply what you’ve learned, further increasing your self awareness, and the cycle continues  – similar to the circle of life.

There are so many things in life that are competing for your time and attention.  If you don’t make a conscious effort to control your focus, and decide in advance what’s most important to you – you’ll be so pulled by the demands of the world that you will soon find yourself living in reaction, rather than enjoying a work life balance plan that’s designed specifically for you.

Remember: The first secret to creating change is awareness; becoming aware or conscious of what you’re doing allows you to make empowering choices.

Before coaching, many of my clients had struggled for years without finding success on their terms.   After coaching, clients have finally achieved their success by using the tools and resources provided in our coaching relationship. If work life balance is a MUST for you, start by contacting Joy at (612) 227-8922 for a complementary private work life balance consult.  And similar to many of Joy’s clients, you’ll be living and loving, your work life balance dreams.

5 Proven Relaxation Techniques

5 Proven Relaxation Techniques

Let’s face it – being a leader can be stressful, and I’ve certainly noticed it show up as a common conversation during coaching yoga:breathingsessions. It seems that many people have been conditioned to believe that we must work hard to be successful. When in reality, many times hard work just creates a hectic and unmanageable life, which equals high risk/low rewards.

If you’re not aware of how you ‘do stress’, then how can you change or reduce it? You may be thinking that you already know the stress drill…heart races, palms sweat, shallow breaths, thought processes get jumbled, and so on.  And yet, sometimes you’re in such a pattern of stress that you don’t even notice the physical side effects.

We all get stressed out sometimes, but if it feels like stress seems to rule your days, it’s time to do something about it.  Below are five relaxation techniques that just might work for you the next time you have an impending deadline or full blown crisis, or are just plain tired or irritable.

  1. Breathe.  Change shallow, quick breaths to relaxed breathing. With your hand on your lower abdomen, count slowly as you breathe in and out, feeling the breath moving.  Counting your breaths can help you to focus on deep breathing.
  2. Physiology.  Move your body!  Even if it’s just for a few minutes of walking around or drinking a glass of water or stepping outside for fresh air.  When you’re in motion, your emotions are in motion too, helping to reduce stress and improve your mood.
  3. Calming thoughts.  Calming thoughts probably won’t come very naturally to you during a stressful situation.  When you’re ‘doing stress’, it’s difficult to be resourceful in the moment.  Plan ahead.  Prepare a list ahead of time, of all the thoughts that are calming for you: thinking of a loved one, remembering a time when you felt calm, saying ‘relax’, having a special photo to look at, etc. Continue adding to your Calming Thoughts list, and you’ll have many options to choose from that work specifically for you.
  4. Meditate. This relaxation technique has been proven to reduce stress and improve health, not to mention focus. Five minutes at a time is a great start – focus on your breath, or listen to relaxing music.  If thoughts come through, simply observe them and let them go.  Keep it simple.  You’ll be able to meditate longer with practice.  Isn’t now the time to develop your ‘meditation muscle’?

I know stress well.  I experienced a lot of it in my corporate job.  My coach suggested I meditate – something I had never experienced before.  Wouldn’t you know, the first day I meditated – chair facing the window, office door closed – one of the manager’s walked in and said, ‘what are you doing, meditating?!’  I burst out laughing, so did he.  I’ve never forgotten my first meditation experience!  Joy

5. Download Apps.  Download apps to help you to relax; there are many to choose from.  Google ‘relaxation technique apps’ and choose the best one for you and your mobile device.

Simply paying attention to your body during stress, and utilizing any one or more of these relaxation techniques, can begin to change the pattern and will have you finding relief in no time.

Each of the relaxation techniques listed above takes five minutes or less!  It’s not a matter about not having the time to do them, it’s about creating new habits that support you in the short and long term.

What’s your preferred relaxation technique? Share below – I’d love to hear.

Looking for more ways to reduce stress? Experience Joy’s Relaxation Techniques workshop where you can familiarize yourself with a variety of relaxation techniques that really work!   Invite Joy to your company’s next Lunch ‘n Learn event!          (612) 227-8922

Five Myths and Truths of Time Management

Five Myths and Truths of Time Management

How much are you really accomplishing every month – 25%, 50%, 75% of what you’d truly like to accomplish?  Are thestop watch pic jpi same items on your list month after month?  That’s so tiring, isn’t it?

We can all get stuck in the trap of ‘not enough time’.  Yet we all know that we’ve got the same 24 hours, 7 days a week.  So why are some people so much better at managing their time and moving towards their goals?  Here are a few Myths and Truths I’ve discovered in my own life and the lives of those I’ve coached:

Myth #1:

I’m Already Too Busy and Don’t Have the Time.

Truth:  I’m Creative and Resourceful and Will Find the Time.  Turn your self talk around, rather than letting it run your life.   What you’re saying to yourself ‘behind the scenes’ is either moving you towards or away from success.  Pay attention.

Myth #2:

Long-Term Planning Is A Waste of Time.

Truth:   Long-Term Planning Gives You More Time.  When you know where you’re going, you’re more apt to get there, right?  Nowadays long-term planning means looking out no more than three to five years.  Our world is changing too quickly; a ten or twenty year plan isn’t necessarily the preferred long-term track anymore.  There, it’s easier already, isn’t it.

Myth #3:

The Best Way To Achieve Is to Just Begin.

Truth:   The Best Way to Achieve is to Plan First, Then Begin. You can be more productive with your time when you know where you’re going.  Action without planning is the source of most failures. When you know where you’re going, you can figure out how to there, with both less effort and procrastination.

Myth #4:

It’s Hard Work To Schedule Your Time

Truth:  It’s Productive To Schedule Your Time.  You want to work smart, be focused and know you’ve accomplished what’s most important, right?  Scheduling is working smarter, not harder.  After all, it takes only about three weeks to create a new ‘scheduling’ pattern.  Scheduling your calendar every week to maximize your time is absolutely worth it.

Myth #5:

I Can Do It On My Own. I Don’t Need Help.

Truth:  I Can Achieve Much More With the Support of Others. Successful people surround themselves with the support of others. When you’re in action and the activity is not a natural strength of yours, bring in the experts who do it well.  That way you can focus on what you do well.  Doesn’t the thought of that already make you feel more happy and productive? 🙂

Joy is an experienced, Board Certified Coach who has guided many people towards successful time management.  Contact Joy at (612) 227-8922 and begin your successful planning today!