Dealing with the Isolation of a Breakup

Working through the deep sorrow that no one wants to talk about.

Working through the deep sorrow that no one wants to talk about.

The fact of the matter is, it’s ok to feel bad after a break up. Especially if you have been together for a long time. You have shared everything from checking accounts to the same tastes in DVR recordings. You have to allow yourself time to heal. Whatever reason the break up occurred , whether it was one sided or not, you are left with half an empty closet where before you didn’t have enough space for your “too many shoes.” That extra set of dishes you kept in the pantry just in case lots of guests came over, is now gone along with the box of extra wine glasses. All the little extras that made both your lives just a little more comfortable, are gone. Those voids that remind you of another life when you were a part of a partnership with the other half that made promises to honor and cherish til death do you part are now all gone.

It’s ok to hurt and it’s ok to cry. You need that time to heal but here’s the rub. With every tumble and fall, there is stand up and shake it off. The problem with feeling hurt, it eventually gets old. All your friends have patted you in the back and have said their “Poor BABY” AND “He wasn’t worth the effort” then went back to their needlepoint. Even the best of friends will grow tired of the drama and leave you sitting all alone on your pitty pot. Now you feel that knock down isolation. The loneliest you have ever felt. So lonely, your heart breaks as regular as the ticking of a clock.

Heavy sigh, so now what? Start a kennel for wayward cats? Don’t even think it. NEED I SAY? Time to pull yourself up by your bra straps and empower yourself by getting out of the house at social events, hang out with friends, shop for more shoes. Be anywhere but home looking at the phone waiting for him to call. Ladies stalking your ex on social media is NOT considered a social event. Many cities have on-line meet-up clubs where you can meet people of “Like” interest. There is bound to be something you would be of interest. Find a happy healthy routine that fills your day. Whether it be running, hiking, karaoke, the local wine tasting club.

Funny thing about woman, when we do things for ourselves like workout, primp, shop, hang out with our friends, we produce a lovely little chemical called Oxytocin into our system that pretty much makes us “Glow.” What happens when a woman glows? Well first, she is happy light hearted a pleasure to be around. Second, she becomes more attractive to the opposite sex (that should send the ex into bonus frenzy). Third, she is more productive at work and at home. Hmmmm there’s an avalanche of good stuff happening once you get past the healing.

So let’s recap. Breakup, Crying, Healing, Clean up the closet, Buy more shoes, Work out, Build oxytocin, Looking good, Glow, Looking better, Attract a handsome man, Build more oxytocin, Buy a new outfit because handsome just asked you out. Did I mention all this? It’s under the subtitle “When a woman GLOWS she is more attractive to the opposite sex.” It’s just a natural occurrence people, work with me.

It just takes some time, some more than others and never over night. Just remember the longest journey starts with one step. All in all, it’s ok to hurt but not to the point that it robs you of your best years. Besides the best revenge is living well and you can’t accomplish that sitting on the pitty pot.

Dolores Baltierra

Mars Venus Coaching

 

Mars Venus Explains the Man Cave

It's not a couch.  It's a MAN CAVE.

It’s not a couch. It’s a MAN CAVE

Couch time, A Right time for Men ?

We live in a world right now that is fast paced. The leaps technology makes in just a year are staggering, aren’t they? How many people have just one email anymore? How many people use their cell phones not only to talk, but to text, email, use GPS, surf the internet, listen to music, and schedule appointments? How many people were using Nooks or iPads last year in March verses this year? What about using Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook accounts? I first read Dr. John Gray’s best-selling relationship book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus back in 1992, when I was 11 years old. I understand men needing cave time backwards and forwards. Or so I thought until our recent family vacation began with a 15 hour trip (including 2 car rides and 3 flights/2 layovers) that quickly turned into an ultra-marathon 20 hour trip to include all the above with 3 delayed flights, high winds, and a snow storm to navigate through…and then the next day our toddler on our 6 year anniversary threw up on Mommy, and only Mommy, seven times! Remember I said I understood cave time? Turns out the more important factor is implementing this concept ESPECIALLY when the going gets tougher.

Did you know when men experience more stressors in their life, their body gives out little signals telling them to stop, sit down, relax, and do nothing? As women we scratch our heads, beat our chests, complain, yell, cajole, and constantly question why the first thing the guys in our life do when the pressure is building is to shift gears, disconnect, and go into a zone or nothing box where frankly women are not allowed. When women get more stressed out, we do the opposite of sitting, because our to-do list keeps growing, as our brain works even harder to make sure everyone and everything is taken care of. For women the most important thing we can do to reduce stress is to connect with others by talking things out and emoting. It’s how our bodies are designed to respond to stress!

When we interrupt a man during his cave time his stress level increases, because we are not giving him time to replenish his testosterone. When men tune out, want to listen in to their favorite sport’s team scores, fall asleep on the couch, or just plain sit down to sit and do nothing….it is their body’s physiological response to how a man’s body increases the stress-reducing hormone testosterone.

It is hard enough adjusting a toddler to time zone changes, on top of having food poisoning. Unwittingly I kept piling on demands. As we were negotiating gym schedules, fitting in time at the hot springs, time with grandma, and time with our friends vacationing with us—my husband jokingly said one of the things he most looks forward to on vacation is uninterrupted time to read. What this really translates to is uninterrupted time for my hubby to replenish his testosterone. When I’m attentive to his needs, then he is able to replenish his store of testosterone, and thereby reduce his stress. And believe me, after the first two days of travel and re-adjustment and non-stop go, this statement from him is priceless. He is the epitome of patience, so when he gave me this gem, the least I could do was ensure he got his reading time! If he is less stressed out, then he becomes more attentive to my needs. As the “nurturer” and “care-giver” in the family, I have to remind myself daily to make sure I do not interrupt my husband in his cave.

When I allow my husband to tinker in his cave, or do nothing he replenishes his stress-busting stores so he can help out at home and with the kids faster than if I jumped on him when I needed relief myself to begin replenishing my stress-reducing hormone, oxytocin.

It sounds counter-intuitive; however, it is inversely proportional to how much help I receive in growing our son, tending to running a family, and investing in our relationship. When I allow him this uninterrupted time to relax his muscles by sitting and reading, he is able to replenish his testosterone quicker, than if I interrupted or bugged him to help me out the second he walks in the door from work, or the second I begin to get overwhelmed about the stressors of traveling with a toddler, dealing with delayed flights, making sure reservations are not cancelled due to our delayed arrival at our destination, and uncertainties if our luggage will show up at the same time as we do! For some guys it may be watching a favorite TV show, surfing the internet, reading the newspaper, or tinkering on a hobby—or all the above…but, by allowing him this time to unwind and rest his muscles, I am actually investing in the longevity and well-being of our marriage. When I allow him to do this, and I make this time sacred for him, then he is able to rejuvenate, and give back to the needs I require to both reduce my stress, but more importantly receive his help—whether this is being a good provider, helping out around the house, or being heard when I need to talk out my day.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

 

An Introvert’s Guide to Networking

ForbesWoman 11/28/2011 @ 11:33AM

Throughout college, I was the “shy girl.” I often wondered why it was hard for me to open up to strangers and attend social events after a long day at school. But I was so used to being labeled as “shy” that I never thought of changing it—it was just my identity.

Finally, at my first job, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and a light bulb went off: I’m an introvert. I realized that there are many benefits of having my personality type—we introverts tend to be reflective and have close relationships, to name a couple—and I became proud of who I was.

But being an introvert makes some things difficult. It’s hard to be open and let strangers into your life. Small talk doesn’t come easy, and it’s hard work to establish rapport with new people. And that means things like attending networking events and meeting new people—crucial elements of the job search—can be pretty intimidating.

I’ve picked up a few tips and habits over the years that have helped me navigate the social side of my career. Do I get excited about being in a big room full of strangers to meet? Not so much. But it’s not so bad anymore, either. Here’s how I handle it:

1. Prepare
Before you head into your next social event, spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to learn from others. Have a few questions ready to ask new people, such as “How did you get started in your career?” or “What are you passionate about?” If being put on the spot makes you nervous, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing questions down and practicing ahead of time. Also think about what you want to share about yourself—you can’t rely on another person to carry the conversation for you!

2. Find a Conference Buddy
You don’t always have to go at it alone—having a buddy can make large events much less intimidating. So bring a colleague or friend to your next networking event or conference. If you do have to fly solo, try to reach out and make just one connection. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with during lunch breaks and someone to wave hello to and introduce to others. And you’ll probably be surprised at how much fun you’ll have!

3. Be That Person
Remember that most people in the room at any given networking event feel the same way you do: scared to death. So, instead of dwelling on how scary it is to start a conversation, think about how by doing so you’ll be helping other people feel more comfortable. Maybe that girl alone at the table doesn’t know anyone either and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person! (“Have you been to this before?” is always a great opening line.)

4. Be Present
Once you do start a conversation, it can be tough to relax if you’re continuously worried about what to say next and what the other person is thinking. So try shifting the focus to your new acquaintance, instead. Ask lots of questions and practice your listening skills!

5. Smile
You don’t always have to initiate—but if you’re hiding against the wall with your arms crossed over your chest, you’re not giving off a very approachable vibe, either. So try to relax, smile, and look as warm and casual as you can—it’ll open the door for someone to walk up to you and start the conversation.

6. Challenge Yourself
This year, I took on a networking challenge—I met with four people I knew and four people I didn’t know every month. Through these connections, I’ve already gotten an interview and many referrals—not to mention my new found confidence and a clearer sense of direction in my career. Even if you don’t go this far, think about how you can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit. It might have unexpected—and great—results.

This article was originally published at The Daily Muse and Forbes

10 Steps To Happiness At Work

Here’s a pop quiz for anyone who’s miserable at work. Which action has the biggest chance of improving your happiness? (A) Getting a promotion, (B) seeing your professional nemesis move to the Mongolia office, (C) focusing on the positive aspects of your job and trying to ignore the negative or (D) quitting in a fit of anger and landing your dream job elsewhere?

Sorry, says Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work. The answer is none of the above. To achieve greater happiness on the job, you don’t need your boss to stop calling you at night. You don’t need to make more money. You don’t need to follow your dream of being a sommelier, or running a B&B in Vermont.

“The exact attributes of what you are looking for do not exist in any job,” says Rao, who taught “Creativity and Personal Mastery,” one of the most sought after courses at Columbia Business School.

He believes that the single biggest obstacle to workplace happiness is the belief that we are prisoners of circumstance, powerless before the things that happen to us. To change your job, he says, you must change the way you think about it. “We create our own experience,” he insists. He relies heavily on Eastern spirituality and draws from many wisdom traditions. “The knowledge that we are responsible for living the life we have is our most powerful tool.”

Rather than encourage people to focus on “positive thinking,” Rao wants to banish the whole notion of good and bad events. “‘When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade’ assumes that you have been given a lemon and that a lemon is bad for you,” he says. “I’m saying, first of all, if you’ve been given a lemon, is that a bad thing? You can train yourself to say, ‘OK, this happened,’ rather than label it as bad.” If you think of events that occurred 10 years ago and seemed bad at the time, he says, you’ll realize that many of those events led to something positive. He recalls a former student who was fired from his job and received a healthy severance deal. Six months later the company ran into trouble and all the remaining staffers lost their jobs without receiving a dime. The fired employee actually came out ahead.

Rao believes that in order to be happy in the workplace, you need to move from personal ambition to “greater vision” ambition. “Personal ambition is ‘I want to be CEO,’” he says. “Greater vision ambition is, ‘I want to lead this company so that people want to work here.’” He says that ambition hinders happiness as long as people employ an “if/then” model: If I get the promotion, then I will be happy. Rao says that a healthier and happier perspective is to think “I have a grand vision and I will try my best to make it work. If I succeed, wonderful. If not, wonderful. My purpose is to give it the best I’ve got.’”

If happiness comes only from within, then how can you tell if you really are in a legitimately bad situation, as opposed just needing to reframe the way you look at it? Rao says it’s better to make a change from a positive place than from a point of anger. “You should make a change from the place of being grateful for your experience but ready to make a change and continue to grow.”

Even in corporate America, where so much of work is every man for him or herself, Rao advocates inhabiting an “other-centered universe.” If the nice guy gets passed over for a promotion, he still may succeed in less tangible ways or land an even better job down the road. “They may rise later in the shootout,” says Rao. “I’m challenging the assumption that you need to be a dog-eat-dog person to survive in a corporate environment.”

To achieve greater happiness at work, you don’t need your boss to stop calling you at night. You don’t need to make more money. You don’t need to follow your dream of being a sommelier, or running a B&B in Vermont. So says Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work. The biggest obstacle to happiness is simply your belief that you’re the prisoner of circumstance, powerless before the things that happen to you, he says. “We create our own experience,” he adds. Here are 10 steps to happiness at work, drawn from his recommendations.

Avoid “good” and “bad” labels

When something bad happens, don’t beat yourself up, says Rao. Instead, when you make an error, be aware of it without passing judgment. “Do what you have to do, but don’t surrender your calmness and sense of peace.”

Practice “extreme resilience”

Rao defines “extreme resilience” as the ability to recover fast from adversity. “You spend much time in needless, fruitless self-recrimination and blaming others,” he writes. “You go on pointless guilt trips and make excuses that you know are fatuous. If you’re resilient, you recover and go on to do great things.” (He also says that if you fully take his advice to avoid “bad thing” labels, you don’t have to practice resilience at all.)

Let go of grudges

Rao says that a key to being happy at work is to let go of grudges. “Consciously drop the past,” he writes. “It’s hard, but with practice you will get the hang of it.”

Don’t waste time being jealous

“When you’re jealous you’re saying that the universe is limited and there’s not enough success in it for me,” says Rao. “Instead, be happy, because whatever happened to him will happen to you in your current job or at another company.”

Find passion in you, not in your job

Sure, you can fantasize about a dream job that pays you well and allows you to do some kind of social good, work with brilliant and likable colleagues and still be home in time for dinner. But Rao warns against searching for that perfect position, or even believing that it exists. Instead, he advocates changing how you think about your current situation. For example, instead of thinking of yourself as a human resources manager at a bank, identify yourself as someone who helps other bank employees provide for their families, take advantage of their benefits and save for the future.

Picture yourself 10 years ago and 10 years from now

“Most problems that kept you awake ten years ago have disappeared,” says Rao. “Much of what troubles you today will also vanish. Realizing this truth will help you gain perspective.”

Banish the “if/then” model of happiness

Rao says that many of us rely on a flawed “if/then” model for happiness. If we become CEO, then we’ll be happy. If we make a six-figure salary, then we’ll be happy. “There is nothing that you have to get, do or be in order to be happy,” he writes.

Invest in the process, not the outcome

“Outcomes are totally beyond your control,” Rao writes. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment if you focus too much on what you hope to achieve rather than how you plan to get there.

Think about other people

Even in corporate America, where so much of work is every man for him or herself, Rao advocates inhabiting an “other-centered universe.” If the nice guy gets passed over for a promotion, he may still succeed in less tangible ways. “He may rise later in the shootout,” Rao says. “I’m challenging the assumption that you need to be a dog-eat-dog person to survive in a corporate environment.”

Swap multitasking for mindfulness

Rao thinks that multitasking gets in the way of happiness. “Multitasking simply means that you do many things badly and take much more time at it,” he writes. He recommends instead working on tasks for 20-minute intervals that you gradually increase to two-hour spans. Turn off any electronic gadgets that can be a distraction. He claims that with practice, you’ll be able to accomplish much more and with less effort.

To Increase Revenue Stop Selling

Mike Myatt, Contributor, Forbes Magazine 5/1/12

Creating or expanding business relationships is not about selling – it’s about establishing trust, rapport, and value creation without selling. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to talk to someone who wants to manage my account, develop my business, or engineer my sale. I want to communicate with someone who desires to fulfill my needs or solve my problems. Any organization that still has “sales” titles on their org charts and business cards is living in another time and place, while attempting to do business in a world that’s already passed them by.

Engage me, communicate with me, add value to my business, solve my problems, create opportunity for me, educate me, inform me, but don’t try and sell me – it won’t work. An attempt to sell me insults my intelligence and wastes my time. Think about it; do you like to be sold? News flash – nobody does. Now ask yourself this question, do you like to be helped? Most reasonable people do. The difference between the two positions while subtle, is very meaningful.

The traditional practice of sales as a business discipline has become at best ineffective, and in many cases flat out obsolete. You see, good business practices are not static. Stale methodologies and disciplines simply die a slow and very painful death, and it is my contention the overwhelming majority of sales processes I see in today’s marketplace are just that – stale.

The problem with many sales organizations is they still operate with the same principles and techniques they were using in the 60′s, 70’s and 80’s. While the technology supporting sales process have clearly evolved, the traditional sales strategies proffered by sales gurus 20 or 30 years ago have not kept pace with market needs. They are not nearly as effective as they once were, and as I’ve alluded to, in most cases they are obsolete.
Trust me when I tell you that your existing and potential clients have heard it all before. They can see the worn-out, old school closes coming a mile away. They can sniff antiquated selling strategies, and will immediately tune out on presentations not deemed relevant. If your sales force is still FAB-selling, spin-selling, soft-selling or using any number of outdated, one size fits all selling methodologies, your sales are suffering whether you realize it or not. If you want to create revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and drive brand equity, stop selling and start adding value.

Lest you think I’ve lost my mind, I want to be clear that I’m not advocating taking your eye off the revenue creation ball. Rather what I’m recommending will help you generate more revenue, with greater velocity by simply doing the right thing in putting your customer’s needs first.

I hear a lot of noise about the tough economy, and revenue being down for many companies. I hear complaint upon complaint that companies just don’t have money to spend, and that nobody is buying. If you’re experiencing this type of reaction from your customer, it’s not because they don’t have money to spend, it’s because you’re selling and not adding value. It’s because you’re talking and not listening. It’s because you don’t get it.

It’s not about you, your company, your products or your services. It’s about meeting customer needs and adding value. When you start paying more attention to your customer needs than your revenue needs, you’ll find you no longer have a revenue problem to complain about.

So, my first suggestion is you change nomenclature. Clients are people not fish. Don’t “lure” or “hook” them – engage them, listen to them and serve them. Eliminate the words “suspects” and “prospects” from your vocabulary and replace them with potential clients. Think about it – do you establish trust by profiling and targeting prospects, or by attempting to understand the needs of a potential client? This is much more than a semantical argument – it’s a philosophical shift in thinking, and a practical shift in acting. Stop selling and start serving.

The truth is most corporations have a hierarchy of sales that comes with a very established and entrenched pecking order. The enterprise sales folks and key accounts reps sit atop the food chain, followed by inside sales reps, and at the bottom of the ladder you’ll find the customer service reps. The hunters are revered and the farmers are tolerated. Regardless of the titles being used, this entire concept of sales is so antiquated it’s laughable. Frankly, most people I know would rather talk to a knowledgeable customer service person over a sales rep any day of the week. The reason for this should be obvious – the perception is a customer service professional is providing information and helping them meet their needs. A sales person is trying to sell them something.

It’s time for companies to realize that consumers have become very savvy and very demanding. Today’s consumer (B2B or B2C) does their homework, is well informed, and buys…they are not sold.

If customer centricity is a buzzword as opposed to the foundation of your corporate culture then your leadership has some work to do. The reality is until I know that you care more about meeting my needs than yours, you’ll remain on the outside looking in. By the way, in order to understand my needs you have to actually know something about me…

Since the large majority of all buying decisions either begin or conclude on the Internet, you better be visible online. In addition to the basics of search engine optimization and traditional search engine marketing, I would strongly suggest getting involved in social networking. Just by having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social networking platforms, you not only open-up a new communications channel to your existing clients, but you also make yourself readily available to those looking to find what you have to offer.

Teach your sales force to become true professionals focused on helping their customers for all the right reasons vs. closing the big deal for personal benefit. To do otherwise will lead to missing substantial opportunities without even being aware of it.

The most important factor in creating revenue and building brand equity is the client/customer/end-user. If you don’t engineer everything around the client, your client relationships will vanish before your very eyes. Don’t be just another vendor, become a trusted adviser and advocate.

How to Manage a Micromanager

Deborah L. Jacobs, Forbes Staff 5/07/2012

If you’ve ever worked with a micromanager, you know how unproductive and demoralizing it can be. This control freak is reluctant to delegate, may second-guess everything you do, and can shake your confidence in your own abilities. Simple tasks that you could accomplish quickly if left to your own devices take twice as long. Your efforts may be reduced to dust as the micromanager completely re-does your work.
Sure, you may be tempted to bolt, but at a time of high unemployment, you might not have that option. So better to master the art of managing the micromanager.
Start by understanding what causes someone to act this way. Often it’s a need for control that stems from insecurity: lack of confidence, workplace instability and pressure to produce–both individually and as a team. Deep-seated psychological issues and problems at home can also influence the way people behave at work. Many of us have the propensity to be a micromanger, but some of us rein it in better than others.
With this in mind, here are eight practical steps you can take.

1. Look for patterns.

As annoying as micromanagers are, they’re incredibly predictable. Watch for behavior swings. There will be certain situations, times of the day or week, when they get especially agitated. Knowing their pressure points can help you ease them.

2. Anticipate needs.

Once you know what triggers them, you can stay ahead of those stressors and ease the tensions early on. Flag potential problems before they escalate and offer solutions. Always have a stockpile ready of new initiatives and demonstrate that you are proactive. This helps them curb their responses to the pressure points without slipping into micromanagement mode.

3. Show empathy.

Remember, the micromanager is under pressure to produce. Show that you understand his or her plight and are willing to share the load. This could be as simple as offering to help. Tomorrow might be the day when this colleague has to take a child to school but also has an early meeting. So today ask what you can do to make life easier tomorrow.

4. Be super reliable.

It’s much easier to manage an office where everyone turns up on time and meets work deadlines. This goes back to the fact that a micromanager hates feeling out of control. If some members of the team don’t deliver, the micromanager gets aggravated and makes unfair demands on everyone else. Discuss as a team what you can do to coordinate things in such a way that there’s no need for the micromanager to fret about how everything is running.

5. Be a role model.

Treat the micromanager the way you would like to be treated. Give the micromanager space. Don’t smother or micromanage back. In working with other people, show how your management style is different –and gets equally good results.

6. Speak up—gently.

Often micromanagers are oblivious to the effect they are having on other people. They actually think all their micromanaging is producing a better work product. Show encouragement and support for the micromanager’s strengths. Then, without being confrontational, find a way to let this person know how micromanagement affects you. A little levity could diffuse the tension. Or you might just ask how he or she thinks it feels to be second-guessed and mistrusted all the time.

7. Enlighten others.

It’s not just you who should be shouldering the responsibility of neutralizing someone’s instinct to micromanage. And chances are you’re not the only one suffering either. Explain to others on your team what you’re doing to ease the micro-manager’s anxiety and encourage them to do the same.

8. Run interference.

If a micromanager reports to you and has a detrimental effect on other team members, be a sounding board. Often the micromanager has a skill or quality that’s important to the organization. But it’s up to this manager’s boss to play a leading role in preventing other team members from getting squelched.

5 Ways Stress Affects Your New Year’s Resolutions

We often make New Year’s Resolutions at the stroke of midnight. We choose to improve things we’re unhappy with about ourselves. What we forget to think about is how stress affects whether or not we’ll actually follow through and stick with our resolutions for however long they’ll take to accomplish.

  1. We forget there are good (and bad) stressors that knock us off track.

Did you know there are two types of stressors: good and bad? Both cause an elevated spike in our stress-producing hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. We often forget that the good stressors can stress us out too. Even if we’re anticipating good stressors like: births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, parties, and other celebrations…we can still end up feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the event. Our good intentions to follow-through on our resolution to exercise, lose weight, sleep more, eat healthy, invest money, etc., often are the first things to fall by the wayside.

  1. Stress is stress.

If our bodies have excess cortisol and adrenaline, then despite our best intentions, we find ourselves going back to old habits. Why? It’s easier, it feels safe, and our energy is going towards ridding our bodies of excess cortisol and adrenaline. It takes over 90 days for new behaviors to become automatic habits. When you’re resolving to do something new or different, concerted effort must be taken to think and then act on the new behaviors. If your motivation is down, then it becomes difficult to convince and hold yourself to carrying through with your new resolutions.

  1. We ignore our bodies’ warning signals…physically.

Fatigue, headaches, indigestion, migraines, weight gain, high blood pressure, clenched jaws, tight muscles, not being able to slow down/relax, and insomnia are signs of too much stress.

  1. We ignore our bodies’ warning signals…emotionally.

Feelings of being alone, overwhelmed, unsupported, anxious, ignored, unimportant, rushed, or angry means for:

Women—we do not have enough of our stress-producing hormone, oxytocin.

Men—we do not have enough of our stress-producing hormone, testosterone.

  1. We ignore our bodies’ warning signals…mentally.

We set ourselves up for failure when we heed the negative talk in our heads.  Fogginess, confusion, and black and white/all-or-nothing thinking are signs that your brain is not working at peak capacity.

Solutions

  • When making your resolutions, plan around and anticipate that BIG life events (good stressors) will happen sometime during the year.
  • Make your resolutions have specific start and end dates.
  • Pencil in the dates on your calendar for the fun and happy events (good stressors) that you already know will occur.
  • Plan down-time into your life, so you can off-set stress and replenish your stress-reducing hormones. You need to do stress-reducing activities daily to keep stress levels low.
  • Sit down with your calendar, and write in your start and end dates for your resolutions.
  • When you do have bad stressors happen—like accidents, deaths, illnesses—re-visit and re-define your new end date for your resolutions.
  • Find someone who can keep you accountable. When you ask someone to help keep you on track—make sure they are willing to give you feedback. When you’re held accountable and have access to objective constructive criticism to what’s working and what’s not working is a great way to fireproof your resolution and ensure 100% commitment to accomplishing your goal(s).

Life happens. When we’re able to roll with the unexpected changes, then we can do things pro-actively to work with both kinds of stressors so our stress levels remain low and our motivation high. It’s when we forget to plan ahead for the contingencies that we lose motivation.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Productivity for Martians

One of the most often cited reasons why people seek out coaching is to become more efficient with their time management.  Outcomes from the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, show more than two-fifths (42.6 percent) of coaching clients choose “optimize individual and/or team performance” as their motivation for being coached,  followed by “expand professional career opportunities” at 38.8 percent and “improve business management strategies” at 36.1 percent.  As a male do you find yourself worn out at the end of the day? Even though you are now working longer hours, do you think you are as productive? There are two ways to combat unproductiveness: (1) replenish testosterone stores daily and (2) clearly defined SMART goals.

Do you remember when you were more productive? Do you think it has to do with having more energy and focus? You may recall being more productive when you were younger or when you were well-rested—like after a holiday weekend or after doing something with your male friends. This is because you topped off your stores of testosterone. In a relaxed state you are more productive, because your focus is better.

There are physiological reasons for why you are more productive when you spend time resting and relaxing. For males your stress-reducing hormone is testosterone. For women it is oxytocin. This is partly why asking your girlfriend, mom, wife, sister, or female co-worker to relax, sit down and rest, forget about it, or do something different may be met by resistance on their part. These kinds of activities are not stress-reducing for women if they have many things to do. However, for men when you shift gears to easier tasks such as:

  • reading an article,
  • checking sports scores,
  • watching a TV show,
  • surfing the internet, or
  • just sitting and doing nothing,
  • forgetting the problem for awhile, or
  • taking a nap

What you are doing when you are doing these activities is replenishing your testosterone stores. If you ask a woman to do the same thing it can have the opposite effect and increase her stress. You can learn more about this by attending one of our Mars Venus Coaches seminars or taking an eWorkshop if you’re really crunched for time. Your relationships will improve at work and at home. And, when males anticipate coming home to a successful relationship…it’s a testosterone producer! So what does replenishing testosterone daily have to do with productivity?

For men it takes longer to replenish testosterone stores on a daily basis, and if you’re productivity is suffering, it may be due in part to not taking enough time EVERY day replenishing your testosterone. If you felt more productive when you were younger, it’s because you produce less testosterone as you age. I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking, “great, but the bottom line is I have more responsibilities, and the pressures on me to perform. I don’t have time to take time to sit and do nothing.” When we experience chronic stress in our lives, then there is excess cortisol (this as well as adrenaline are the stress-producing hormones) in your body which inhibits testosterone production.

The way you attack being more productive then gets into creating SMART goals. Your goals professionally and personally need to be:

S—Specific

M—Measurable

A—Achievable

R—Results-Oriented

T—Time Bound

Once you sit down, write out, and create your SMART goals, complete them when you say you will, and work on them every day. If you are doing things that are not a part of your goals, then you must choose to keep doing them or not. By writing and following through on your goals you learn how to prioritize and manage your time. If you don’t know where to start or what’s important, then this is when coaching may help you gain clarity and accountability to follow through on your intentions.

The way you make sure that you stay productive is to incorporate down time as part of your SMART goals every day so you ensure time to replenish testosterone throughout the day, especially on the busy jam-packed days. Make sure you have an objective person hold you accountable to your goals so you don’t slack off on what’s really important to you. Not only will you be more productive, you will be more successful and satisfied with the quality of your life.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching Your Top Ten Priorities

Do you ever find yourself in what feels like a constant state of overwhelm? At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about overwhelm and how to manage it. Are you spending enough time on what is important to you, or do your activities take you away from what really matters to you? Do you know if what you do on a day-to-day basis reflects or masks your best self? Mars Venus Coaches find many people in our line of work who are dissatisfied with the way their life is running. Either people do not have enough time to spend with those they love or doing the things that they love. Instead, they are either running from one small fire to the next dousing the fires as they come up, reacting to the way their life is going rather than taking up the reins with intention on the direction they want their life to go. This can cause people quite a bit of stress in their daily lives.

Some of you may be thinking that you are in control of your life and relationships, and while right this second, you don’t have enough time in your day to do what your heart desires—you’ll get to it the next day. But, the question is, will you? Based on your past history and following through on your goals, will you be able to get there by yourself? How do you hold yourself accountable to do the hard work of change?

Let’s do a quick – Mars Venus Coaching – check-in. Before reading the rest of the article, right now tear your paper into four pieces.

  • On the first piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of today.
  • On the next piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this week.
  • On the third piece of paper write down the top ten things you must complete by the end of this month.

Are you wondering what this is all about? How often do you write down your tasks? Does your “must complete” list match up with what you think you will accomplish in the specified time frames? Is it more of a wish list or a to-do list that every task will be crossed off by the end of the day, week, or month? Just think about these things, because I’d like you to do something else with the last piece of paper.

  • On the last piece of paper write down the top ten things most important for you to be or accomplish in your life.

Oh. Hmm. Well, first how does it feel to think for a few minutes about what inspires, motivates, and excites you. Take the previous three pieces of paper I first asked you to fill out—and looking at the last list you wrote circle the tasks on your previous three pieces of paper that are in alignment with your last priority list.

How many items are circled? Are there 5, 10, 20, or 30 items circled?

What you are doing right now is looking to see whether your daily activities are in alignment with your higher self, or the part of you that desires to accomplish/give back to others. If your daily activities do not reflect your last list you made, then there is inconsistency. This is something a life coach could help you realize as well as help hold you accountable to.

From your first list tear each task off so you have 10 free standing tasks. Now, order these according to how you can get through these needed tasks the quickest so you can get to doing more of what you need to do in order to bring the fourth list to fruition. As you tear up the task list, realize you are in control of both what you choose to do with your time, and what priority you place on making the fourth list a reality on a daily basis.

I had you do task lists for the whole week, and then the whole month. Do the same thing. Tear up each list into ten individual tasks/pieces and re-organize. What you can also do as well—if you find some of the “must complete” tasks are:

  • no longer that urgent, or
  • you can wrap up, or
  • disengage from by the end of the month

—take those tasks away.

Remember I asked at the beginning if you were overwhelmed or if you were stressed out? We have to remember there are only 24 hours in a day. We need 7-8 hours of sleep. We also need time to relax and replenish our stress-reducing hormones. Oxytocin needs to be produced for women to reduce their stress. Testosterone needs to be produced for men to reduce their stress. If you feel overwhelmed or fatigued, you are stressed out. Something must come off your list. Something must change if you’d like to focus more on your fourth list.

Guess what? You can’t add any more tasks. You’re going to have to do both a one-for-one trade and most likely take away tasks so that you are getting the required down time and sleep so your body doesn’t tear itself apart like you tore up your task list. It’s your call. There are people out here who hold people accountable to make these life changes so your quality of life improves, your relationships at work and home get better, and your goals turn from dreams into reality. It’s possible if you value your worth enough. We have several online workshops available that provide more insight such as the above information. Check out our Mars Venus Workshops at www.marsvenusworkshops.com.

Lyndsay Katauskas

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations