Life Coaching

Vacation Means Better Business!

vacation take it

Vacation Means Better Business!

The sound of birds early in the morning, long warm nights and the smell of food on the grill can only mean one thing; it’s summer time!  Remember how relaxing summer used to be? Remember when you used to take vacation? Have you thought about taking some time off this summer? As a leader, you’re probably asking yourself, “With all that’s going on in business, how can I find time for vacation?” Well, actually you can’t not take time off!

Americans take less time off than any developed nation in the world (working 9 weeks longer per year) and they have the highest rate of depression.  According to one World Health Organization & Harvard study, overwork is correlated with obesity, heart disease, insomnia and fatigue. We are the only industrialized nation without mandatory paid leave. “Great in theory”, you say, “but we need to get work done, we can’t afford to take time off!” In fact, research shows that more work does not correlate with more or better output! It often costs more in mistakes and accidents in the workplace.  The lack of time off costs companies in absenteeism, turnover and rising health costs.   We know that when we have too many computer programs running at once they can get hung up so we power off, wait a bit and reboot the system.  Humans, too, need to regularly power off and re boot our “computer” so it works better.

Productivity Worry

Worried about deadlines missed or mistakes that might occur in your absence? Taking a vacation can actually be empowering for your team!  When you delegate and give others authority to act it builds their confidence and forces them to take on expanded responsibilities and new tasks.  Morale is boosted when a company honors the need for time off and life balance.   This increased employee engagement more than makes up for time spent on vacation.

We only have so much time and energy to expend in our daily lives.  No one ever got to their deathbed and wished they’d worked more!  While it can seem difficult to start taking time off, the benefits of doing so (less stress, less anxiety, calmer attitude, etc.) will result in more productivity and innovation.   You may even have time for family, friends and community involvement- all those things that make for the balanced life you thought you had no time for!   Make yourself a priority and take care of you.  Your business will be the better for it.

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Three Ways to Take Charge of You and Your Mental Health this Summer!

Take Charge of Your Summer, TODAY!

The sound of birds early in the morning, long hot summer nights and the smell of good food on the grill can only mean one thing; it’s summer time!! Ah, the ease and laid back attitude that is summer.  What a nice change! It is the perfect time to dive right into living a healthy and balanced life. Sunshine and time are on your side in the summer.  The atmosphere could not be more ideal for reinventing yourself and taking the time for you.

You’re probably asking yourself, “I barely have time to shower.  How in the world am I going to find time for making a change in my life?  Spending my time reading a blog post about what I am doing wrong is not encouraging.” Well, we are not here to scold you or make you feel bad for the choices in your life.  The point is offering simple, doable options to the lifestyle choices already being made.  Think of these options as a decompressing tune-up.  The end goal is keeping things simple and engaging for even the most stressed out person.  The three suggestions below can help put you on the path for making the most of your summer and a balanced life!

 

Three Tips to Try this Summer

  1. Utilizing the Extra Daylight to your Benefit!

Using nature and summer to your advantage is the goal behind the first idea. The amount of daylight hours increases in the summer; essentially offering you more hours to work with when making plans. Pack a picnic for you and your family; letting you spend dinner at the park.  Eating dinner at the park lets the kids get out that extra summer energy, while you spend some quality time with everyone.  Sounds like a win/win!

Can’t seem to squeeze in time for a workout during the day; switch your workouts to an early morning time slot or make it a late evening affair.  Allow yourself time for a late snack or cocktail with friends.  Making the most of the additional hours of light can help you check some things off your daily to do list. Being able to check things off your to do list and getting creative with what to do in extra daylight will ultimately begin taking stress off.

For more ideas of things to do with additional sun light, check out these great lists: http://www.windsweptwriting.com/10-things-extra-hour-daylight/http://www.thepartnerstrust.com/blog/12-things-to-do-with-an-extra-hour-of-daylight/https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-things-to-do-with-the-extra-sunlight-we-get-from-daylight-savings.

2.Enjoying the Plentiful Healthful Food Options during the Summer. 

What better time of year then summer to start thinking about the type of food you eat. The variety of fruits and vegetables available during the summer months makes it hard not to reevaluate food being ingested.  Since availability of healthful food increases during warmer months, the cost of the same type of food tends to decrease. There are so many options to make eating healthy in the summer easy.  Many farms and orchards have “pick your own” days, where you visit and pick the latest offering. The amount of farmer’s markets open to the public increases during the summer months as well. What better time than summer to start your own garden.  There is nothing like a fresh homegrown tomato!

The opportunities for garden fresh food are endless in the summer. Plus the healthier of diet you practice, the better your body handles stress. These links can help get you started on the path to fresh and healthful eating: Farmer’s Markets – http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/, Local Farms and Orchards  http://www.pickyourown.org/, https://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/ , Home Gardening – http://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/planning-your-first-vegetable-garden/, http://www.almanac.com/vegetable-garden-planning-for beginners

3.New Summer, New You!

Instead of claiming the New Year as the start of a new you, why not proclaim the summer of 2017 as the summer of “YOU”! There is definitely something about the summer months that brings out motivation and happiness in people.  Start today with the mindset, “If it doesn’t serve me, I will learn to let it go”. We only have so much time and energy to expend in our daily lives.  Why exhaust this energy on things, places and people that do not serve a purpose in your life.  Yes, it can seem difficult to start saying no and releasing your time for other things, but the benefits of doing so (less stress, more time, less anxiety, calmer attitude, etc.) are the trade off.  Make yourself a priority and take care of you.

Try new activities this summer you have always wanted check out but could not seem to find the time to do so.  You may surprise yourself and like something you never thought possible. When you choose yourself, it is amazing how time seems to be added to your day.  Step outside of your comfort zone and meet some new people.  Aligning yourself with individuals who share in the same mindset and goals are an instant morale booster.

Check out the links below for more ideas of making the change towards a new you: https://www.livingsocial.com/, https://experiencelife.com/article/50-ways-to-make-the-most-of-summer/, http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/take-time-for-yourself-this-summer.aspx

 

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April PowerPoints 2017

The April PowerPoints newsletter is out! Take a moment to read about my upcoming events and how I can help your business and life through my coaching. A brief excerpt from my newest blog “How do you Plan?” will hopefully entice you to read more at my website. Have a great spring and remember, “It is not where you start that matters, it’s where you are going, who you become, and the positive impact you have along the way.”

April PowerPoints

Daily routine

Change your life daily routine

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How do you Plan?

How do you plan?

By Marjorie R. Johnson LCSW, PCC

Most of us know that our best chance of achieving any goal is to plan for it. We need to have a clear SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive). We know the importance of planning for our business or team’s yearly goals. This process is required. However, how often do we approach our personal lives with the same strategic planning? Yet, without being intentional about how we want to spend our days, and indeed our lives, it is up to chance whether we will become our best selves.

Think about the past 24 hours. Where did your time go? How much of your time was given to social media, zoning out with television or compulsively checking e -mail? In his book, Shine, Edward Hallowell, MD (noted ADHD psychiatrist and author of the bestseller: Driven to Distraction), comments on the overloaded, over busy and overwhelmed brain of today’s workers. We are working harder and longer yet achieving less because we feel we cannot allow time for rest, recreation and personal relationships.

What to do? To achieve healthy, well rounded lives, I recommend the following process. Set aside 60- 90 minutes of uninterrupted time, when you know you won’t be disturbed. Breathe deeply, and begin quietly reflecting as follows: Consider your “Essential” or “Higher Self” in the middle of a circle with several spokes going out from the center. These spokes represent areas of your life that affect you and contribute to your life. (Adapted from “Wheel of Life”, Co-Active Coaching, 2011.) You might include family relationships, friends and social network, career, spiritual/ personal growth, recreation, finances, health & fitness and your physical environment (home or office). Consider “how content” you are in each area. Which area might you like to improve? Where is your time going? Is it in balance and contributing to the Self you want to be? Now set specific, SMART goals (refer to my SMART Goals Blog series starting here: https://ascendconsulting.net/goal-setting-intention-business-life/) for balance in some of these areas. Identify one or two specific actions that will gradually bring these goals into reality.

Now it’s time to make the goals from above happen. Our goals for balanced fulfilled lives need active care and attention to become reality. Take some quiet planning time each day to intentionally build into your routine those actions that are in alignment with your goals. Note: This might mean doing less! Without this daily time of reflection and planning it’s impossible to bring your daily actions in line with the life you want to live. During this process, be compassionate with yourself. Change often occurs by taking two steps forward and one step back. Mindfulness, intentional planning and daily reflection make all the difference in becoming the Self you want to be.

I specialize in coaching executives and professionals into achieving their goals with life balance. Contact me if you’d like to begin the conversation.  Marjorie@ascendconsutling.net

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It’s All About Relationships!

It’s All about Relationships
By Marjorie R. Johnson LCSW, PCC

Jane was a key contributor and leader in her company. She worked harder and longer than everyone else in her division. She was referred to executive coaching to improve her people skills. Colleagues and senior team members found her brusque and irritable when stressed. At another company, Bob was referred to me for similar challenges. A valuable, developing executive, he needed to learn to influence his CEO without lapsing into angry outbursts when they disagreed.

Coaching Jane and Bob drew on my counseling expertise, as we identified the stress and anxiety that was driving their outbursts. As each leader’s self-awareness increased, so did the ability to recognize the presence of inner tension in their body. This allowed them to pause and come to a calm place. A few moments of slow, even breathing afforded them the thinking time to choose an effective response. Coaching helped them to learn and experiment with new communication tools. Jane and Bob were now able to build bridges instead of creating barriers.

Relationships at work and home succeed or fail based on practicing self-control and the ability to be mindful of how we express our emotions. Despite how rational we as humans strive to be, science demonstrates that we are emotional beings, who need to feel a sense of belonging and connection to others. When we don’t feel that connection, when we are in a harsh or disrespectful disagreement, we don’t feel safe. Hence, the visceral fight or flight reaction in boardroom meetings, even though the “saber-tooth tiger” is nowhere to be found.

How can we improve relationships? It all boils down to being mindful (or intentional). First, we need to be aware of our own emotional state. The body is the first part of to the brain to respond. The ability to detect when our own stress chemicals (the cortisol spike felt by the knotted stomach or rapid heartbeat) start to rise is the key. We must take the time to pause. Then, we can sense the emotion(s) (limbic brain) we are feeling. Lastly, the thinking brain (neocortex) comes online and we can self-manage. Only the ability to pause and become self-aware will allows us to choose how best to communicate in the moment.
Second, we need to be more mindful of others. We need to really listen to them all: colleagues, spouses, employees and customers. Rather than thinking we know what they mean, take the time to ask for clarity, so we know for certain what they mean. This open-hearted listening makes it possible to find agreement and understanding amidst the conflict.

So yes, it’s all about relationships: first with oneself, then with others. All relationships rely on how mindfully we listen and communicate. This takes patience and compassion for us and others. Today, how and when could you take time to practice mindful awareness in your communication?

Marjorie R. Johnson is President of Ascend Consulting, Inc. an executive coaching and counseling firm. www.ascendconsulting.net  www.ascendcounselingpa.com

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Give SUCCESS This Holiday Season!

Coaching Gift Certificates for the Holidays!!!

gift-certificate-1-test

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Goal Setting Boot Camp – January 20, 2017!

goal setting with an executive coachDo you want to achieve some big goals?
Not sure where to start?
Afraid you’ll get stuck or fall off track?

Register for this half-day boot camp, designed to provide clear, achievable action steps and follow-through to success!

If you are committed to achieve OUTSTANDING success in 2017, this program is for YOU!

You will:
•  Tie your specific goals to action steps
•  Anticipate and plan for obstacles
•  Create milestones to track your achievement
•  Get and stay unstuck!

Your investment includes:
•  Initial individual coaching session and pre-work
•  Half-day of formal presentations, group work, and on-the-spot coaching
•  A solid plan with detailed actions steps and benchmarks
•  Follow-up individual coaching to ensure success!

When: January 20, 2017, 8 am- 1 pm (lunch is included)
Where: Ascend Consulting, Inc.
101 Lindenwood Dr., Suite 225
Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355
Cost: $849 for 5 hours of group work, PLUS 2 hours of individual coaching!

Register by January 2, 2017 and get $100 off!
Don’t delay—boot camp is limited to 15 participants!
To register: email  Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net or call (610) 696-4443.

Marjorie Johnson,
Executive Coach

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Mindfulness Meditation Group – Beginning Tuesdays on January 17, 2017

 Winter Meditation Group:

“Are you dealing with anxiety or depression or simply stressed by daily life? Learn Mindfulness and experience a quieter mind and calm approach to life’s challenges!”

You are invited to be: Still, Relaxed and be Present!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

8 weeks ($240) includes CD “Come to the Quiet”.

937 Prichard Ave. West Chester, PA 19382

7:30-8:45pm

To register:  Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net (or) (610)696-4443

“Mindfulness Mediation has been proven to improve focus, sleep and overall wellness. You will learn and practice simple to used skills to manage: Stress, Anxiety and Depression.” This Psycho-educational support group is facilitated by Marjorie R. Johnson, Clinical Social Worker and Coach. This group may be submitted to insurance.

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