Tips to Stress-Less During the Holidays

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Tips to Stress-less During the Holidays

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Holiday time can be quite stressful, with shopping and baking and trying to find that “perfect” gift.  Add to this decorating the house, writing Christmas cards and either hosting or attending holiday parties. All while either working at your job or on your own business. The combination equals stress and anxiety that can take the spirit out of the season.  This holiday can be a little more stressful for some due to worry about money.

 

To top it off, trying to balance it all can lead to more worry and stress, whether you are aware or not. Those little voices in the background may be screaming “it’s not enough” or ‘what will people think’ or, yet, you won’t be able to get everything done – Christmas will be ruined.’ I’m sure you can identify and, perhaps, have even more of these types of thoughts.

 

If you find yourself struggling to stress-less this holiday season, here are some tips to help you survive and enjoy the season:

 

  1. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete, such as Christmas card list, gift list, food, etc.  Have specific action steps and completion dates. Start by penciling in events on your calendar to help yourself manage your time effectively.

Having a schedule for how you will balance between your work activities and holiday activities will make your schedule less stressful, as you will know what to do and when. When you check-off completed tasks, you will more of a sense of accomplishment which will lesson any overwhelm you may be experiencing.

 

  1. Set a limit for spending and how you will pay for your purchases. Overspending will only add to your stress, as will maxing out your credit cards so you avoid the new year credit card blues. Consider opening a Christmas Club account with your bank or a credit union so you will have the cash next year.

 

  1. Look for deals- look on line and the circulars in the paper. Look for coupons and specials. Many stores have special deals, such as buy one, get one, etc. (be sure to look at the fine print). See what you can make, or have someone else (i.e. Etsy) – homemade gifts take time and effort and are more meaningful.

 

  1. Plan your destinations and times – it is less crowded during the day or evenings as opposed to the weekend. If possible, go late at night to stores that are either open 24 hours or have late evening hours.  You may find good deals then, as stores will be looking for sales at that hour. Set aside a couple of hours a week to do your baking, decorating or gift-wrapping.  You will get a lot accomplished.

 

  1. Take time to debrief – have a good meal, exercise, watch a holiday movie, take a walk, or practice deep breathing, anything to relieve your stress and get your energy up. Focus on what is meaningful to you.
  2. Learn to say no – know your boundaries; don’t overtax yourself too much.  Say no when you feel overly stressed or pressured into doing things you don’t want to do. You can only do so much – over-giving never leads to getting back so know your limits and honor them.

 

  1. Have fun by being with friends or family, listening to Christmas music or watching holiday movies.  Take a drive and look at the decorated houses or stores. Take time to truly enjoy the season which can give new meaning to it.

 

  1. Give back – there are many people who are in need and you can make a difference by either volunteering your time to a charity or making a donation. Remembering the spirit of the season can be the best stress-reliever of all. Giving to others take the focus off of your issues and ‘all those tasks’ won’t seem surmountable.

 

This year, I’m vowing to stress-less; I didn’t over-decorate, which makes me appreciate how my house looks and feels; I am not going to over-spend on gifts this year, as I’ve done in the past; and I’m having to remind myself daily that things will work out fine. Try these tips and see how they help you to truly enjoy the ‘reason for the season.’

 

 

How to Deal With Difficult Customers During the Holidays

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The holiday season seems to bring out the worst in some people. If you consider all the stress that the season can bring – cooking, shopping, decorating, worrying about money, dealing with family issues, taking vacations – the list can go on and on.

There is not a day goes by that I don’t hear a complaint(s) about dealing with a difficult customer. These complaints come from all levels and industries; customers who:

  • make demands, wanting their needs met in their way, no matter if it follows protocol or not
  • treat you as if you don’t know what you’re talking about, talking down to you
  • have no patience for the process, becoming exasperated at your (perceived) lack of effort
  • don’t understand the direction you are giving them
  • go over your head with a complaint about your behavior, which may or may not have been adverse, but not looking at their own behavior in the situation; they skew the story from reality but you still get called on it
  • are gruff or rude
  • feel entitled (to have what they want when they want)

Let’s face it – we’ve all most likely exhibited one (or more) of the behaviors listed above, perhaps in our busyness or when a personal issue arises that is the underlying cause for our behavior. I’ll admit I’ve been there at time or two myself.

People have their own perspectives and expectations of which lead to conflict of some type. Keeping this fact in mind – individual perceptions and expectations – would help to deal more effectively when facing a difficult customer. It seems that expectations have become wanting the latest and greatest, and now -now- now.

Here are some tips to help you deal with a difficult customer:

  • Check yourself each day: question your beliefs, perceptions and expectations about others and how you are presenting yourself; check for any biases you have, or defenses, such as if someone comes up and doesn’t smile does not mean they are not a nice person
  • Breathe – take a deep breath before responding to a difficult customer; you don’t have to respond right away. Taking a few breaths will slow your response down so you can think and communicate more clearly
  • Prep your mindset – mentally preparing yourself will go a long way to dealing with demanding or other adverse behaviors; some suggestions include: visualization, mindfulness, setting an intention each morning to set the tone for the day, taking a break and going outside, using self-talk and validation that you will get through a situation calmly
  • Read up on conflict management – see if your organization offers a course or read books/blogs to learn why conflict exists and steps to resolve it. This will help you to be a more effective communicator and leads to better interactions
  • Remember, it’s about them, not you – people respond by how they think and feel which has nothing to do with you. Remembering this – and being empathetic – will allow to take their behavior less personally when you realize they may be having a bad day or they may be worried about an ill family member or their job
  • Remain calm in how you interact and diffuse any issues needing resolved; let them that you hear their concerns, which is really what they want. The calmer you are, and the more you validate their concern, the less angry or demanding they will be.

Difficult people are a fact of life, some being more difficult than others. It doesn’t seem to be getting better, with advancing technology and fickle consumer needs. The holidays seem to bring this out more with the stressors of the season.  Learning how to deal with these increasing changes and being more aware of human behavior, yours included, is what will help you to deal with those difficult customers you encounter on a daily basis. The holidays won’t be a dreaded season any longer.

 

Setting Career Intentions to Get a Jump on the New Year

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10 Tips for Career Intentions

As we are in the final days of the year, how are you coming on your planning for next year? Most people will start their new ‘resolutions’ come January but not finish them; in fact, it is estimated that up to 80% fall off within the first 30 days!

This can be attributed to a lack of proper planning and mindset. The resolution word seems to be a problem in the goal process as the word resolution means you need to resolve something which isn’t very motivating. That’s why a better word is to set intentions, which has action behind it.

Setting intentions for your career will bring you more focus and success. So I thought I’d repost tips from when I was  interviewed for an article in a newspaper several years ago, but think they are still valid today. I hope these may help you to get serious about your career search or for revving up your career:

  1. 1. Set the intention – decide on what it is you want in your career – do you want to find a new job, keep your current job, change industries, move into a leadership role, be a better employee, or is this the year you will start your own business; being clear on what it is you want – and why – will help you structure your time and efforts more effective.
  2. Commit – to the process; what tools and resources do you need that will aid you in effectively managing your career.
  3. Assess – write down your skills, talents, abilities, interests, values, experiences or, in other words, what do you have to offer an employer ; also assess your preferred work environment – where do you your best work and feel happiest; what type of company culture aligns with your values and will support you.
  4. Research – who is hiring for the job you want and then explore the position you want – the pay, the benefits, the responsibilities and skills to see if you have them; look at the organization itself to assess it stability and offerings; what is the state of the industry you are in or want to move into.
  5. Set goals – what is that you want – type of job or position, company, etc.; be specific and exact. No matter how you set them (I’ve given you several in the last few days) it’s important that you do as they are the roadmap for your daily routines and future achievements.
  6. Action steps – define what activities you need to do on a daily or weekly basis that will take you to your goal.
  7. Develop a job search strategy – what types of job search activities will be most effective to use:

Job boards;  Published positions; Unpublished positions;  Networking;  Associations;  Alumni Associations;  Friends/family ; Direct contacts;  Job Fairs;  Recruiters/headhunters;  Chat Sites;  Company Websites;  Social networking – LinkedIn, Facebook, Connections, etc.

  1.  Set up a specific daily activity log – how you will spend time in job- search mode on a daily basis; this will help you to keep focused and productive.
  2. Self-care – activities or interests that will help to keep up the emotional level; take time to de-stress, like taking a walk or listening to music; find some mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing or meditation will help you sleep better, so you are at your best, but also helps you to deal more appropriately when the workday frustrations come.
  3. Support system – find support to help you when you might frustrated or discouraged, such as family, friends, a career coach or a job seekers support group.
  4. This is a new tip I’ve added, which is:

Mindset – set an intention that you will work at your highest each day, that there is always something you can learn in your work tasks; that you will commit to being more helpful – to your boss, your coworkers or customers you serve – and do so with a smile; and that you will stop any negativity about your job, either by you or a coworker, and that you will intend to love your job each day. Gratitude goes a long way to help with developing a positive mindset.

I can’t stress enough the importance of goal-planning for your career; having focus each day will lead to more productivity and managing your time both of which leads to feeling more accomplished, satisfied and engaged. All of which are a recipe for more recognition, advancement opportunities, and career success. Why wait until the new year begins – get a jump on your career goals now!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Set Goals for Successs

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It’s so hard to believe that December is upon us and the last days of 2019. In hindsight, it seems that the year has gone by so quickly. Before you know it, a new year and decade will be upon us. This is always the time for renewed spirit and goal setting to accomplish the ‘bucket list.’

Having a plan to start off the new year will allow you to enjoy the holidays.

Now is the time to begin planning and setting goals; however, there is still 31 days  to end the year off accomplished; it’s never too late to achieve your goals and finish strong. Sometimes it’s not which goals you set but how you set them, as you want to make them so compelling that you just have to work to get them done.

Here are 3 ways to set compelling goals:

  1. Past achievements – remember a time when you did achieve   something you wanted and how you did it – we often forget that we’ve accomplished goals in the past, as they now are easy or part of our routine; do you remember the first time you tried to ride a bike? remember how ‘hard’ it was? But yet you did it. Looking back on past achievements can help you to open up and get creative in your goals
  2. Everest goals – focus on the end-result – you already have reached your goal – and then work backwards to identify all the steps it took for you to get there. I love this way of setting goals, as it gets you into futuring and tapping into your visuals so you can ‘see’ you already accomplished; I find I get more creative while this also raises my emotional level to make my goals more compelling.  Create a visual representation to keep the goal in front of you, such as drawing a map with your goal at the top and free-think actionable steps that took you there
  3. Pain-Gain – another way to set goals is by looking at the benefit you will get, and the risk for not, for having them. By looking at the gain you will get by having the goal, can help you determine the ‘strength’ of that goal, and give you the motivation you need. Also, looking at the current pain by not having the goal also gives you a differing perspective to realize what is missing, i.e. why you need that goal, which, again, makes you want to do the work needed.

However, you set goals, the important point is that you have them as there are many benefits to them. Set them for parts of your life, as well as in your job and career. Think big – don’t be afraid to be as creative as you want; in fact, make your goals so big that you have to go for them. Planning ahead will give you peace of mind while providing direction each day. Now, you can savor these last days of 2019 and end your year well!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

New Month and Goal Planning to End/Start the New Year Right

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We are just a few days away from the start of a another new month – hard to believe we’re almost  done with 2019 and a new year – and decade – will begin. Where has the time gone?

I love a new month as it brings renewed hope and the opportunity for creating new ideas and actions, i.e. goals, to work on. This is the time to take stock of how things have been going on the goals you set back in January, which is almost here again.

You still have one month take massive action and achieve your unmet goals. Planning for the new year should be on your agenda, as well,  so you can hit the ground running after the holidays are over and with passion to do so.

This  is the time to assess your current state, to see if you’re satisfied with where you are and, if not, to change that. You won’t know where things are if you don’t truly make an overall assessment of your life, in the following areas:

  • career
  • relationships
  • finances
  • hobbies/fun/recreation
  • physical environment
  • health
  • personal growth & development
  • time management and productivity

These are the main areas, although there may be others, to identify what is working or not.  In each of these, ask yourself:

  • how satisfied you are (you can rate on a Likert scale, from 1-5, or 1-10)
  • do you feel uneasy when you delve into any of these area; if so, there is an issue that needs to be addressed as it could be holding you back from success
  • what is working well in each area; what are the strengths you possess that is leading to positive achievement
  • what is not working well in each area; what is your responsibility/choices that have led to being stalled; are there any outside influences as contributing factors
  • what changes do you want/need to make that would lead to feeling satisfied in each area; what do you want/need to continue doing, if you are satisfied

These questions will give you the big picture of how all areas of your life are going. Armed with this information, you can now break each area down and continue asking the questions until you get to the bottom line for where you want the rest of the month/year to go, ala set new goals.

Ask yourself if you want to be in the same spot as you are now for each of those areas above; if the answer is no in any of them, then this  is where your goal planning should begin.What will you do differently to make them happen?

Goal planning takes time and effort, but aren’t you worth it? Start today to create the roadmap for your life – it’s never too late!