What are the biggest benefits of being happy?
Happiness boosts your motivation, creativity, energy, health. Studies of happy people show they experience less stress, which improves their health on many levels. It definitely improves relationships. In terms of careers, people think success = happiness. Shawn Achor, happiness expert says, “happiness fuels success, not the other way around.”
What can people do to be happier?
Gratitude is the single best way, in my opinion, of changing how you feel and see the world around you. I’ve had a gratitude practice for years and started with a notebook or journal. My new obsession: Five-Minute Journal and I love the format. Complete the questions in the morning before you get out of bed and at the end of the day – just before you turn out the light. It’s a great way to bookend your day! The key to making lasting change is not to just make a list, but to take the time while writing to actually FEEL the gratitude for each item on your list.
What are your biggest tips on how to not let your circumstances dictate your happiness?
I’m a firm believer that thoughts become our reality, so I start with what my clients are thinking and believing. Our thoughts about our circumstances cause our feelings, which cause our actions, which ultimately create results in our lives. Our circumstances are not the cause of pain – our thoughts about those circumstances are what causes unhappiness. You’ve heard the expression; change your thoughts, change your life. It’s so true.
What does happiness mean to you and how do you help people achieve that level of happiness?
There are so many things that go into this question, and for me it’s about 2 things: authenticity and service. I coach women in leadership roles, whether they work in an organization or own their own business helping them claim their seat at the leadership table. Part of that work is done at the retreats I host – I’ve got one coming up in April – where we work on confidence and crafting their unique leadership style and vision. When I can help a woman own her gifts and talents and see that she can be very successful by showing up authentically, that makes me very happy!
Are you tired of running on empty?
Life has gotten to be more complicated than ever or so it seems. Driving kids to and fro, work, taking care of the house, yard, meals, finances…Then we’re supposed to make room for fun, exercise – yikes!
In all that we do, have we ever looked at whether any of it is really draining our energy?
Every action you take uses energy. What you may not know is that actions you don’t take use energy as well – mental energy, emotional energy, energy that could be used in a more positive way. That cluttered desk drains your energy. The laundry pile does, too.
And what about the more challenging ones – caring for an elderly parent or dealing with a health issue?
The energy used can be gained back by identifying what’s draining you and eliminating it so you have more energy for things you really want in your life – family and friends.
“How you do anything is how you do everything.” Once you begin to take care of everyday things that drain you, you’ll also start to notice those things that drain you on an emotional and spiritual level.
Step 1: Start at home: Take a notepad and pen with you and tour your home. Start in the least cluttered room – easiest. Take some time in each room and note what works for you – what you love – and what doesn’t. Do you hate the lamp you have there and keep it because it was a gift? Are your plants wilting? Do you even want plants? Time to rid your spaces of “shoulds”.
Does everything have its own place? Is it cluttered? Make notes on what you’d like to see in each room including what you’d like to get rid of and what you’d like to change.
I love lists, but sometimes they can be daunting, so let’s make this fun. I use Trello – think of electronic Post-It notes – and create a list on there. It’s a great site to help organize your thoughts. I use it for my business and it has great applications for your personal life as well.
For example: Each room could have its own board on Trello. You can use it to document the tasks at hand: Give to Goodwill, throw away, paint, clean carpet, etc.
Step 2: Set a date: We’ve just completed the New Year and with that comes resolutions for so many people. The problem with them is that they don’t stick. Don’t let that happen to you.
Set a realistic date to complete each item on your list. Remember this is your list – so no pressure.
Start to eat that elephant one bite at a time. Maybe you start with your linen closet. The point is to take action toward creating the spaces in your home the way that energize you rather than drain you.
Do no more than 2-3 items per week so you can feel the victory of accomplishment on a consistent basis.
Step 3: Expand your reach: Once you have started on your personal spaces, it’s time to look at your time commitments.
Our schedules are overloaded and it’s time to take back control.
First, look at what you’ve committed to and decide what you can let go of. Ask yourself: When I made this decision, was I coming from a place of “should” or “have to”?
We never make great decisions from that place. Plus, the commitment feels like a ball and chain around your neck.
Before you cancel, check-in with yourself to make sure this isn’t a pattern. Do you flake out often? If so, this is a different issue.
Once you’ve chosen what you can remove from your calendar, start letting those involved know.
Remember, honest is the best policy. We might be tempted to tell a little white lie, but don’t do it. Honesty is the best solution and people will respect you for it.
People have a very difficult time saying “no”.
When cancelling, call the person or do it in person if at all possible.
Follow this formula:
- State original reason you agreed
- State why that reason has changed
- Tell them you are now not able to honor this commitment
- Apologize for the inconvenience and offer to help in another capacity
Stick with short and sweet.
Moving forward, decide to take time before agreeing to anything. Pausing is a powerful tool to have in your toolbox.
“I’ll need to check my schedule and get back to you.”
And learn this sentence: “No, that doesn’t work for me right now.”
Use these tips to reduce the stress and regain your energy.
Setting Goals for the New Year
Leadership and Life Coach Barbara Churchill says to toss out any New Year’s Resolutions you’re planning to set. Instead, take another approach and set goals to accomplish. She shares tips and resources to help you have the best year ever.
Barbara’s resource suggestions:
Brooke Castillo (in particular, episodes 3 and 86)
Dealing with Challenging People
Whether you’re in a meeting at work, part of a team that has a project with a deadline or in your personal life, some of the people you find yourself surrounded with might be a little difficult to deal with. Leadership & Life Coach Barbara Churchill has three things you can do to make dealing with them a little easier.
Advice on Making Money from Home
When it comes to selling items through direct sales or by starting a company, we asked three women who started their own businesses for advice.
5 Love Languages
Love is the most important word in the English language and often the most confusing. We use the word love to describe how we are feeling about activities, objects, animals, and people. We even use it to explain behavior (such as, “I did it because I love him.”)
Love can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be once you start understanding the 5 Love Languages. Leadership and Life Coach Barbara Churchill explains.
Words of Affirmation (verbal compliment or words of appreciation)
Quality Time (spending time together, giving your undivided attention to your partner)
Receiving Gifts (visual symbols of love)
Acts of Service (doing things you know your partner would like you to do)
Physical Touch (hugs, holding hands, kissing, etc.)
It’s important to find out which is your partners primary love language. It’s very common for people to use their own love language on your spouse, thinking it’s a good thing because it’s something that YOU respond well to. In reality, you partner may not respond at all to that language, leaving them feeling empty and unloved.
Find out what your primary and secondary love language is and share it with your partner. Now you are able to “speak” the correct language to each other with the impact to the relationship being profound.
Word of the Year
Leadership & Life Coach, Barbara Churchill, says there is no need to make a New Year’s resolution to make a change in your life. You can do it with a simple word